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Sopris Elementary has no room for out-of-district students

The eight new classrooms planned for Sopris Elementary School can’t be built soon enough for the Roaring Fork School District Re-1.The district board Wednesday night closed the Glenwood Springs school to out-of-district enrollment because it apparently will be full come the start of the school year. Principal Howard Jay told the board it doesn’t make sense to accept students from Silt when the school isn’t able to take ones from West Glenwood.The school, built in 1996, is designed for 400 to 420 students. Jay has 461 names on his list of expected students, but that list includes previous students, and he doesn’t know how many among them won’t be returning. Re-1 schools reopen Tuesday.Jay said more than 60 new students are in the school’s boundaries. It must accept all students within its boundaries who wish to attend. Re-1 Superintendent Fred Wall said enrollment so far appears to be up a little districtwide.Sopris will get new classrooms as part of Re-1’s $86 million bond issue. Jay said it will hold about 600 students after the add-on. Re-1’s board approved the schematic design for the expansion Wednesday.Re-1 allows enrollment from outside its district but can prohibit it within individual schools when space doesn’t permit it. Jay said Sopris has no out-of-district students now. It does have students from West Glenwood and Carbondale who would like to attend if there is room.The board on Wednesday also approved a conceptual design for the remodeling of Glenwood Springs Elementary School. Some of the Glenwood Elementary work will include replacing the entry canopy to the Bolitho portion of the building, correcting odor problems in Bolitho’s rest rooms, adding more electrical outlets in classrooms, fixing a chimney and replacing concrete steps.In other Re-1 business Wednesday, assistant superintendent Shannon Pelland said the district is negotiating a contract with Holy Cross Energy to lease the use of its tower on Sunlight Peak so the district can have full radio contact with buses on routes.Because of mountainous terrain, messages sometimes now must be relayed from bus to bus.The district will have to spend about $10,000 in radio upgrades and related costs, and also will pay an annual lease fee. The improvements could be in place within a few weeks.Contact Dennis Webb: 945-8515, ext. 516dwebb@postindependent.com


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