Glenwood Springs council endorses school-related grant proposals |

Glenwood Springs council endorses school-related grant proposals

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Two projects that would benefit two elementary schools in Glenwood Springs got the nod from City Council on Thursday for a pair of state and regional grant funding requests.

Council agreed to lend its support to what will be a roughly $100,000 Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant request from the Glenwood Springs Elementary School Playground Revival Committee.

In addition, council on Thursday gave priority for a Garfield Federal Mineral Lease District (FMLD) grant request for $125,000 to help the city build a new bridge over Three Mile Creek along Midland Avenue, for easier pedestrian access to Sopris Elementary School in South Glenwood. That project is estimated to cost $250,000 total.

The planned new playground facility at Glenwood Elementary would replace the existing play structures on the north side of the school building in downtown Glenwood Springs.

Students gave input on the playground design last year, with the assistance of an outside designer and sponsorship from the Greensprouts Foundation.

The playground committee is now seeking funding to cover the estimated $140,000 cost to build the new playground. It would like to start construction next summer, said Michelle McReynolds, a co-founder of the committee and a teacher at the school.

The project will also make use of recycled rubber tires, through a Colorado Recycling Incentive grant, she said.

There will be a community meeting to show the playground plans from 5-7 p.m. Monday at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.

“This will be a time to share the new playground model and financial status, answer questions and receive ideas and feedback,” McReynolds said.

The committee will also be enlisting volunteer labor from parents and community members to help build the playground, she said.

The city of Glenwood Springs also intends to apply for a $75,000 GOCO grant to help with riverbank improvements planning at Two Rivers and Veltus parks. That project would include a match from the city to pay for bank restoration and improvements to the boat ramp at Two Rivers Park.

Because it would be considered in a separate category from the playground project, City Manager Jeff Hecksel said the two GOCO requests would not compete with each other.

FMLD grant request

Meanwhile, council opted for the Three Mile Creek bridge project over several other projects, including planning assistance for the Eighth Street connection, in its latest bid for a FMLD grant.

The FMLD typically does not fund grants for design work or studies, Hecksel said. For that reason, council agreed to seek grant funding for the pedestrian bridge instead.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t support the Sopris, Three Mile Bridge project,” said Mayor Leo McKinney, who lives in the Glenwood Park neighborhood. “This is something we have been trying to do for so long, and here we have a chance to improve safety there.”

Councilman Stephen Bershenyi said the city already has enough resources dedicated to planning for the Eighth Street connection without risking its one and only shot for a FMLD grant on that project.

“It’s time to close that [Three Mile bridge] project out, and make sure it’s done properly,” Bershenyi said.

The city will also seek a FMLD mini-grant for $25,000 to continue work on a needs assessment for other Midland Avenue improvements.

FMLD grant proposals are due by next month for the fall funding cycle. This will be the second full year that grants have been awarded through the special FMLD, which is separate from Garfield County but uses federal mineral lease dollars that come to the county from the state and federal government.

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