Community forum held in Gypsum for $144 million in school bond spending | VailDaily.com

Community forum held in Gypsum for $144 million in school bond spending

GYPSUM — Voters took their first look at they're buying with the millions they approved when district officials debuted expansion plans for Eagle Valley High School this week.

Monday evening's community meeting was the first of several district officials will host, as construction and renovation projects get rolling and continue through the summer of 2019.

The first dirt will be turned with a groundbreaking ceremony at Gypsum's Red Hill Elementary School, at 3:30 p.m., on April 12.

$144 million plus interest

Voters last November gave the school district the green light to borrow $144 million to build and rebuild buildings up and down the valley. With interest, the total comes to $230 million, the largest tax increase in Eagle County history.

Of that $144 million, the lion's share will be spent in Eagle and Gypsum:

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• $31.2 million at Eagle Valley High School.

• $23.1 million at Eagle Valley Elementary School.

• $25.7 million at Eagle Valley Middle School.

The schools in Eagle will be torn down and replaced.

At the high school, "We'll get the expansion we need for classroom size, we'll get programming additions for culinary and health sciences, athletic training and we'll be able to increase the flow internally in the building — the way kids move around — so maybe they don't get as jammed up," Eagle Valley High School Principal Greg Doan said.

The Eagle Valley plan will add 61,000 square feet of instructional space, existing space will be renovated, and they'll double the number of parking spaces.

Along with health sciences and culinary programs, Eagle Valley will expand its automotive repair program.

The district is buying the Integra Automotive building along U.S. Highway 6 in Gypsum, and will move the auto repair program to there, where commercial automobile repair facilities are already operating. The automotive program will be part of the Red Canyon West campus project.

Part of Gypsum's future

The Eagle Valley High School plan is also part of Gypsum's vision for its future. The town has plans to build its city-center core with retail and residential, and remodeling the high school is part of Gypsum's five core areas targeted in the town's long-range master plan. That plan is still being reviewed, and could be approved in May by the Gypsum Town Council.

In the campus area, Gypsum's goal is to "work with the school district to ensure future expansion to promote a cohesive architectural presence along (U.S.) Highway 6 and Valley Road."

$1.2 billion economic impact

Prior to the election, the school board helped its cause when it announced a point system to give local contractors the inside track in getting some of all this business. Also helpful was the $1.2 billion overall economic impact of the $144 million in construction projects.

When the 2008 recession hit, the school district's state funding was slashed $14 million during two years. The district shed 90 jobs. The school district's deferred maintenance list topped $12 million, according to an independent facilities study.

The school district takes the biggest bite of your property tax dollar. Of Eagle County's 107 taxing entities, 36 percent goes to Eagle County Schools.

The property tax increase to pay for all that school construction comes to another $40 per year for every $100,000 of a residential property's assessed value. Second homeowners pay 60 percent of Eagle County's residential property taxes.

In Colorado, commercial property is taxed at three times the rate of residential property.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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What: Community forum for Eagle Valley Elementary and Eagle Valley Middle School

Where: School district offices, 757 East Third St., Eagle

When: 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 11

Information: The meeting will cover the planned construction and renovation, schedules and programs for the two schools.

Total bond

$144 million: Bond debt

$230 million: Total with principal and interest

Total Economic Impact

$1.2 billion

Construction Schedule and costs

Avon Elementary: Completion July 28, 2017: $1.8 million

Brush Creek Elementary: Completion July 28, 2017: $1.04 million

Edwards Elementary: Completion July 28, 2017: $2.4 million

Gypsum Elementary: Completion July 28, 2017: $2.5 million

June Creek Elementary: Completion July 28, 2017: $412,225

Red Hill Elementary: Completion Sept. 4, 2017: $1.6 million

Homestake Peak: Completion July 28, 2017: $3 million

Berry Creek Middle School: Completion July 28, 2017: $2.7 million

Gypsum Creek Middle School: Completion July 28, 2017: $1.8 million

Battle Mountain High School: Completion July 28, 2017: $847,243

Red Canyon High School East: Completion fall 2017: $1 million

Red Canyon High School West: Completion fall 2017: $4 million

Eagle Valley Elementary School: Completion summer 2018: $23.1 million

Eagle Valley Middle School: Completion summer 2018: $25.7 million

Eagle Valley High School: Completion summer 2018: $31.2 million

Red Sandstone Elementary: Completion 2019: $12.7 million

Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy: Completion 2019: $2.4 million