RFSD News column: Bond projects — an update on your investment
It’s been almost one year since voters supported the Roaring Fork School District’s $122 million bond issue to fund a series of major building improvements. Our schools were grateful for your support a year ago, and we want you to know that your investment was both smart and timely.
A lot has happened in a year — both in our community and around the state. While planning and construction are well underway for the Roaring Fork schools, Colorado voters in the November election are being asked to support 24 bond issues to raise more than $4 billion in taxes to support public education. This is the most money ever requested for school funding from Colorado voters. Of course, we won’t know which bonds will pass until after Election Day, but we do know that competition for construction is undoubtedly going to increase in Colorado as a result of the record-setting amount requested through bond issues.
Our Board of Education was proactive and strategic in predicting the volatility of this election with the number of school districts asking for bonds and getting ahead of it. Our conscious decision to go to bond early resulted in a more competitive bidding process, which means we were able to get more bids for better rates. Because increased competition for construction means increased cost, the school district’s ambitious timeline for construction resulted in us getting more building for your tax dollars. That is, by working hard and fast, the district was able to get more for less and be a good steward of your investment.
This past year has been a flurry of planning, designing and construction, which will result in improvements to every single school and other support facilities in the district. The bulk of the projects are set to wrap up by winter 2017. The last project set for completion, Glenwood Springs Elementary School, is scheduled to be completed in February 2018. Despite the ambitious timeline, overall the projects are on time and within budget.
Our ambitious timeline also means, however, that construction occurs year-round. To avoid the anticipated escalation costs, the district has to continue work during the school year. Although students, parents and staff may experience the occasional disruption or inconvenience from construction, the work will be finished faster than most large-scale projects.
We’re grateful that our community has been, and continues to be, so generous in supporting the needs of our students. In addition to thanking you for your support, we want to thank you for patience as we live through our construction and the local road construction over the next year. You have our promise that we are planning now to help reduce the inconvenience and impacts of construction and also working hard to make sure we get through it as quickly as we can.
Ultimately, the success of these projects is a result of voters’ wise investment and the district’s smart planning and execution. We are excited that the planning and work happening now will directly benefit current students. To learn more about the district’s many bond projects, go to our Bond Project Updates page to see monthly updates, pictures, FAQs, project fact sheets and more.
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