Re-1 seeks input on $84 million bond issue |

Re-1 seeks input on $84 million bond issue

The Roaring Fork School District wants your input.

District planners are pondering a possible $84 million price tag for updating school and office buildings and building new facilities, too.

But before a bond issue for remodeling and new construction is put to a vote this November, Re-1 administrators and board members want to make certain that the district’s voters are behind those plans.

“We need to determine what kind of support is out there at this time for a bond issue,” said Re-1 finance director Shannon Pelland. “This is a big issue. We want to make sure we’re hitting the mark, and that the community as a whole feels this is important.”

That’s why Re-1 is hosting three public meetings this week in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt, to hear from constituents regarding the district’s plans.

Re-1 administrators and school board members have already received lots of public input through the facilities improvement planning process.

At the beginning of 2003, the district hired RTA Inc., an architectural and planning firm from Colorado Springs. At the same time, volunteer committees made up of community members, teachers and Re-1 staff offered insight, suggestions and worked with RTA on the planning process.

Now it’s time to look at the master plan again, said Pelland.

“We’re re-affirming that the work we’ve done with the committees actually represents the community as a whole,” Pelland said of this week’s public meetings.

“It’s critical to get public perspective,” said Carbondale resident Bill Lamont. “People who live in these communities and vote need to understand what is being proposed, and what these improvements imply.”

Lamont, who helped spearhead a citizens’ group called ACE ” Advocates for Carbondale Education ” also serves on Re-1’s Facilities Action Committee and the Carbondale Community Committee that helped mold the master plan.

Nearly 75 percent of the school district’s existing buildings are more than 30 years old. Many require major repair or retrofitting. And some simply need to be replaced, according to Re-1’s master plan.

The Basalt and Carbondale communities, for example, both see the need for expanded elementary school facilities, alleviating the need for modular classrooms.

In Carbondale, plans are to build a new high school, and move the Carbondale Middle School, currently housed in an old building requiring extensive upgrading, into the current Roaring Fork High School facility.

And in Glenwood, according to the master plan, the Glenwood Springs High School building was determined to be “seriously deficient.” Concerns include the school building’s age, the number of remodeling projects it has undergone, and the relatively small size of the campus, at a little more than 14 acres, making it impossible to incorporate all athletic facilities at one location.

The cost for bringing the high school up to an acceptable level is currently $11.5 million, which doesn’t include land if it’s determined the school should be located elsewhere.

For superintendent Fred Wall, giving the public an opportunity to learn more about these and other building plans is important to the process.

“The meetings will include an overview of school district facility needs for each town,” Wall said. “District officials and representatives from RTA will be on hand to review long-range facilities planning goals and currently proposed projects.”

Lamont said the meetings provide people with a tangible way to share their opinions.

“Input given now is valuable to the board and administration,” he said.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

Three public meetings are being held this week for

people to share ideas and input with Re-1 administrators, board members and facilities-committee members as they consider school

and office building improvements and new construction.

All meetings run from 6:30-8 p.m.

– Glenwood Springs schools plan: today at the Glenwood Springs High School media center.

– Carbondale schools plan: Wednesday at the Roaring Fork High School presentation room.

– Basalt schools plan: Thursday at Basalt High School Commons.

Information: 384-6000

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