Re-1 has vacant school building up for grabs
Roaring Fork School District Re-1 is popular in Carbondale these days. It has something no on else has – a very large building set to retire.By Ryan GraffPost Independent StaffRoaring Fork School District Re-1 is popular in Carbondale these days. It has something no on else has – a very large building set to retire. The district plans to use the Carbondale Middle School building for Bridges High School, central staff offices and possibly some storage, but beyond that, the school will be empty, said Re-1 board member Brad Zeigel.CMS students are moving to the current Roaring Fork High School as part of the district’s facilities improvement projects. CMS’s free space has attracted the attention of the town of Carbondale and various organizations with dreams of what the space could be used for. “They are kind of looking for a business incubator, home for the (Carbondale Community Chamber of Commerce), maybe a community center,” said Zeigel, who met with various Carbondale groups last week. “They are just kind of dreaming about what could happen there.” Carbondale mayor Michael Hassig, chamber director Randi Lowenthal and Colorado Mountain College representatives all met with Zeigel to express interest in talking with the district about the future of the 68-year-old school once students move to Roaring Fork High School. The group wanted “simply to make known our interest in beginning a conversation,” Hassig said. “It really starts with the school board, and they have to decide what’s available and how,” Lowenthal said. That doesn’t mean that the different groups aren’t optimistic. “I have no doubt that were we able to offer space for nonprofits or a business incubator that there would be interest,” Hassig said. A business incubator, explained Lowenthal, is a program that helps business get off the ground by providing a variety of services, and perhaps space. Typically different organizations, such as the chamber or CMC, provide guidance or resources. Business or nonprofit space is especially appealing in Carbondale, where rent is fairly high, Hassig said. Many nonprofits only need a little bit of space, he added.”There a lots of smaller nonprofits where classroom would be plenty,” he said. Everyone involved is sure that any decision on the CMS building is still a long way off, but groups around Carbondale are dreaming. “There are lots … of possibilities that are exciting to think about,” Hassig said. “There are lots … of possibilities that are exciting to think about,” Hassig said.
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