Community input key as projects move forward
The organizational alphabet soup that starts with ARC, BOC and DAG might not mean much at first, but the acronyms translate to a bevy of community members and consultants hard at work planning for new public school facilities in the Roaring Fork Valley.Since the voter-approved bond election in November, the Roaring Fork School District has secured very favorable bond investment rates. Planning for construction projects is moving forward on schedule, including the current selection of environmental engineers and general contractors.Construction liaisons from the Avon firm Architectural Resource Consultants, or ARC, are working to coordinate plans for 14 projects. In January, the district selected four separate architectural firms from Glenwood Springs, Denver and Colorado Springs to design the projects in the district, including the new Glenwood Springs High School.A bond oversight committee, or BOC, including community volunteers from across the district, helped select the architects and is meeting twice a month to advise the school board and administration. The committee will provide recommendations to ensure construction follows the district’s facilities master plan and meets the expectations of the voters. “People from the community are helping to oversee how the money is going to be spent,” said BOC member Peter Waller, of Glenwood Springs. “The oversight committee is a group of people with varied backgrounds, which is good because it brings in different perspectives so that the community as a whole is better represented.”Earlier this month each school slated for construction formed a design advisory group, or DAG, that includes school staff, parents and students. “There has been a lot of interest,” said Glenwood Springs High principal Mike Wells. “People are excited about the opportunity to help plan and design a new high school.” ARC’s lead construction manager, Tim Brekel, said, “Each of the projects will have a design advisory group working with the architect and the construction manager to flesh out and further develop the ideas set forth in the master plan that was used for the bond election campaign.” Periodic public open houses are planned to provide opportunities for the community to review the work and provide feedback. The public input process will be important for the new high school in Glenwood Springs. It is planned with a footprint where True Value Hardware now sits and will use the current hardware store parking area for school staff parking.In order to build the best educational environments for current and future students, the district will host two design consultants this month. Educational standards and space flexibility will be discussed during meetings Feb. 15-16. Sustainable design building standards, including lighting and energy efficiency, will be the topic of meetings Feb. 24. Although construction timelines are subject to change, schedules call for work to begin first at four schools this summer: Crystal River Elementary and Roaring Fork High in Carbondale, and the elementary and high school in Basalt.Community members are welcome to contact anyone on the districtwide or school design committees directly, via any school principal or through the school district office at 384-6000 or email@example.com.Suzie Romig is the RFSD’s public information officer.
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