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Re-1 to hire financial consulting firm

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Roaring Fork Re-1 School Board took another step forward Wednesday on a master plan to remodel and build new schools.

School Board members will interview three Colorado-based financial consulting firms at the Jan. 28 meeting, and select one by Feb. 1 to assist with the district’s plans for building improvements and construction.

“A financial consultant is key in planning for bond issues,” said superintendent Fred Wall, of the district’s facilities master plan.



The district would need voters to approve an estimated $86 million bond issue to finance the projects in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.

Nearly 75 percent of the school district’s existing school buildings are more than 30 years old and need major repair, retrofitting, or replacement, according to the master plan.



Building new schools will provide for anticipated growth, and improving existing buildings will lower operating and maintenance costs, according to the document.

Wall said district administrators, board members, parents and staff drafted the facilities master plan. He said the $86 million estimate, at this point, is a working number and is not necessarily what the district will ask voters to approve when the bond issue goes to a vote.

“We likely won’t have that number until July,” Wall said.

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He added that with the input of the selected financial consulting firm, the district will go back to parent groups, and each school accountability committee, and ask them what they think are the district’s most pressing needs.

District officials are planning repeated efforts to get public input before finalizing the proposal they will take to voters.

The board isn’t certain when it will take the bond issue to a vote, Wall said. It could be this November, or in 2005.

School board member Bruce Wampler said the financial firm might also conduct surveys and studies with voters to determine what the community is willing and able to fund.

The facilities master plan can be viewed on the Internet at http://www.rfsdboard.org, and clicking on “Facilities Master Plan.”

At Wednesday’s evening, the board also approved a policy regarding the school board’s use of e-mail.

The policy requires that board members use e-mail between them for announcement purposes only, and not to reply.

Additionally, e-mail between board members regarding district issues must be conducted through Re-1’s e-mail accounts, rather than using personal e-mail accounts. By using the district account, e-mails can be kept in the public record.

“This is a matter of technology catching up with our practices,” said Wampler. “We implemented this policy because we want to make sure we are adhering to laws regarding public communication and the board of education.”

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518

cclick@postindependent.com


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