Steamboat school board discusses next steps following bond failure | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat school board discusses next steps following bond failure

— Current and newly elected Steamboat Springs School Board members Wednesday evening were able to reflect on failed Referendums 3A and 3B and consider next steps.

The board's post-election meeting included current members and newly elected members Margaret Huron, Michelle Dover and Sam Rush, as well as the district's former engineer and architect, whose contracts expired with the election.

Superintendent Brad Meeks suggested a cool-off period to gather feedback before pursuing a new plan to bring to voters.

"We've been working on this for 18 months; I think we need to take a deep breath," Meeks said.

Several board members said a benefit of this election, despite the failure of the bond, was the awareness it raised within the community.

"The community is engaged; people are reaching out," Meeks said. "Obviously, the solution we presented yesterday wasn't the solution people wanted."

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Rush, a Colorado Mountain College administrator, told the group she hoped it wasn't discouraged by the results of the vote.

"It can be very discouraging, but I will tell you, something will come to fruition," Rush said. "I want to get some momentum going while there's interest."

Rush said she was eager to bring fresh energy and begin creating a new plan to present to voters.

"We're coming in with some new energy, and we will give you that support," Rush said. "I don't want to take too much of a break from it, because, as you know, we have problems, and if we sit too long, that's going to be even more problematic."

The board also discussed the status of its contract with the Yampa Valley Electric Association to purchase its Overlook Park site, which would have been used for a new high school had the bond passed.

Board member Robin Crossan suggested the board move forward with purchasing the property, despite the failure of the bond, and consider putting its Steamboat II-area property on the market.

"Being that (the Overlook property) is the last large piece of property in the town of Steamboat Springs, I believe we have an obligation to our students and our community to plan for the future," Crossan said.

Board president Roger Good said he wanted to hold off on such a decision until the new board members are sworn in, which will happen after election results are certified in the coming weeks. Good suggested a future meeting to discuss multiple district properties.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow