Eagle County Schools celebrates last ground breaking at Red Canyon West | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Schools celebrates last ground breaking at Red Canyon West

GYPSUM — The last groundbreaking for the voter-approved school bond projects was Red Canyon High School's west campus.

Construction remains on time and on budget, which means students will stroll through the doors for classes after winter break.

Appreciative students

When you don't have much of anything, you tend to appreciate everything.

And so it was with the bus loads of Red Canyon High School students who turned a little dirt during last week's groundbreaking ceremony for their new building.

Several Red Canyon students spoke to school board members and the community during the groundbreaking, reiterating how much the new building means to them.

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They called the new building a "show of faith by our community," said the community support was "amazing," that it represents growth the school and its students have achieved and that it's "a new opportunity."

"Alternative education doesn't get facilities like this. We'd like to send a huge thank you to the people who believe in our mission," Red Canyon Principal Troy Dudley said.

Red Canyon students in the western end of the valley have attended classes in converted ranch houses, spare rooms in existing school buildings and even a converted Chevy dealership.

The RCHS building in Edwards was built after voters approved Eagle County Schools' last bond election in 2006. The west campus on Gypsum's Spring Creek Road is under construction, one of the many voter-approved bond projects begun and completed in the last year and a half.

Part of a bigger plant

The RCHS West building will be tucked in behind the school district's new Spring Creek Campus, home to its auto mechanics program, transportation and technology departments.

Even after voters approved it, here was some uncertainty about where the new Red Canyon building would go. For a while, the school district considered a site on Chambers Road in Eagle. However, costs and the building's close proximity to a marijuana dispensary kicked it off the table.

Eventually, the owner of the 2.7 acres behind the district's new Spring Creek campus in Gypsum's airport business park approached the school district with an offer to sell, and they hammered out a deal to buy the property.

The Red Canyon West building will be almost identical to the Red Canyon East building in Edwards.

Voter approved

It's all part of the voter-approved bond projects, passed in November 2016.

The numbers run like this:

• $131,770,000 million in bonds were sold for school projects up and down the valley ($230 million total with interest).

• Those bond sales generated an additional $22,332,115, that will also be spent on those projects.

• That means the school district has $154,102,115 to spend, $10 million more than the $144 million Eagle County voters thought they were going to have.

• $125 million is being spent on construction through the school openings in September.

• $120 million of that is under contract. That means it's either under construction or has been completed. If it's under construction, then it's scheduled for completion by November 2018.

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

Red Canyon High School West

• Located on Spring Creek Road, Gypsum

• 12,500 square foot building

• Total acreage of the site: 2.7 for the school

• 56 parking spaces dedicated to the school

• 10 flexible, collaborative classrooms

• Multipurpose commons

• Large conference / professional development / board room

• Construction budget estimated: $5.4 million

• Also home to school board meeting room and staff/teacher training facility

• Scheduled for completion late fall/early winter, for occupancy after the winter holiday break

• Using same design standards that have been proven successful at Red Canyon High School East

• Adjacent to Spring Creek campus