Column: No decision yet on school stadium
Eagle County Schools would again like to take the opportunity to thank Eagle County community members who supported the $128 million bond that was passed in the fall for improvements in our schools, which will ensure Great Schools, East to West. In light of this success and in response to a variety of community comments and concerns, we believe it is important to keep you informed of the progress of various projects and initiatives, and this particular focus is on the construction, buildings and grounds update. The board is in the process of determining priorities and value engineering in the initial design based upon recommendations from the design advisory groups. June Creek Elementary, which will closely resemble Red Hill Elementary and Brush Creek Elementary, will be built at the existing Red Canyon High site in Edwards. It is anticipated that site contractors will begin pouring concrete in late July. Due to an extraordinary increase in construction costs, additional funds have been requested for the construction of June Creek Elementary. Additional site and irrigation ditch work are driven by site constraints and require additional funding to comply with regulatory requests. Two classrooms have been added to the prototype design as well. The advisory group at Battle Mountain High, comprised of 28 teachers, parents and community members, has met several times and contributed their ideas and suggestions. Rough blueprint sketches and designs have been approved. Site preparation is anticipated to begin in August with a December time frame for concrete pouring.The board allocated funds to build a new Red Canyon High School, knowing that the current site would be removed to make room for the new June Creek Elementary. Red Canyon High is currently in the design stage and on target for breaking ground in September. For the first part of the fall semester, classes will be held at the Colorado Mountain College building in Edwards, with an anticipated move-in date for the new location in January.The advisory group at Eagle Valley High comprised of 14 teachers, parents and community members, has also met several times and contributed their ideas and suggestions. For the remodeling of Eagle Valley High, H+L Architecture and FCI Constructors presented three viable options to explore. The board approved a design option that would move the school toward compliance with the new high school education specifications. This design is intended to ensure general equality across the schools. Preliminary budget numbers associated with construction costs and the design progress of each building will be more apparent in the later presentations. In the interim, contractors will continue to meet with community groups and scopes of work for building improvements will continue to be developed.In addition to the construction of new buildings and improvements to existing facilities, upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning control systems and replacing current boilers with ultra-high efficiency boilers in the schools will take place over the next 18 months.In reference to a state-of-the-art stadium accompanying the new Battle Mountain High School, nothing has been approved or disapproved by the board at this time. The facilities committee originally recommended that a brand-new stadium not be a priority, due to the fact that half a million dollars has already been invested in the current Battle Mountain stadium in the last few years and the 3B bond initiative was cut back to $129 million from $150 million to increase the possibility of passing the effort. In addition to the various projects currently underway that have taken a number of unpredictable courses, construction costs are constantly fluctuating, requiring the board to allocate additional dollars to unforeseen areas of development; however, to reiterate, the board has made absolutely no definite decision thus far in reference to the future Battle Mountain High stadium and will continue to discuss potential options once other projects have progressed. Several ideas have been exchanged and numerous conversations have taken place between Eagle County Schools, H+L Architects, FCI Constructors, Adolfson & Peterson Construction, the design advisory groups, and the Singletree and Miller Ranch Homeowners Associations, which has definitely played a prominent role in the aforementioned projects. We truly appreciate the efforts of Eagle County community members in helping us pass this critical initiative. We hope you understand that we are working diligently to ensure everyones opinion is considered during the progress of these developments. E-mail comments about this column to email@example.com.