Avon OKs school in valley | VailDaily.com

Avon OKs school in valley

Veronica Whitney

AVON ” The logical place for a new school is on the valley floor in the vicinity of Wal-Mart and The Home Depot and not next to the interstate, as has been proposed, Town Council members have decided.

Although the Eagle County School Board haven’t decided when the new school will be built, its members chose the same piece of land ” known as “site D” ” between Chapel Square and Wal-Mart.

“We still have a lot of complicated things to solve in terms of land,” said Tambi Katieb, the Avon’s director of community development.

One problem is the slope of the land, he said.

In a letter to Magnus Lindholm ” whose company, Traer Creek, is building the Village at Avon ” assistant school superintendent Karen Strakbein requests being able to build on the entire 7.3 acres of the so-called site and that the slope be minimal.

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Any work on the parcel will have to begin with removing thousands of cubic yards of dirt dumped on the land. Strakbein guessed about half of an approximately 80-foot hill would have to be carved away to make the land level, she said.

The school district also asked Traer Creek to build a bridge over the East Beaver Creek Boulevard, which will be the main access to the future school site.

“We want that site and would like those considerations there, but we can’t tell if that would be a deal breaker,” schools Superintendent John Brendza said. “We could still operate the school without the bridge.”

Avon Town Council members also have asked to see the Village at Avon’s plan for the valley floor in before making a final decision.

“We need to stay flexible,” Councilwoman Debbie Buckley said.

“Without a plan for the valley floor I don’t know if that will be the right place in five years.”

Lindholm said he is amenable to the school district’s choice, but accused the Town Council of politicizing the decision.

“Let the school district get what they want,” Lindholm said. “Some council members are trying to make a political thing out of it. This is about the kids.”

Traer Creek is required to provide the town with 7.3 acres for a new school. It is getting ready to apply for a change of zoning because the parcel the school district wants is zoned residential.

Three other spots were considered for the school ” two next to the roundabouts on the north side of Wal-Mart’s I-70 interchange and one across the Eagle River from Paddy’s bar and grill.

At a Nov. 17 meeting organized by the school district, the majority of people who voted informally chose the valley floor as the best place for a school.

Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 454 or vwhitney@vaildaily.com.

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