Eagle County schools look to future
Eagle County, CO Colorado
The issue: What kinds of facilities and land the school district needs to buy and build in coming years to accommodate the continuing growth it’s experiencing.-
Who they talked to: Bill Reimer and Denny Hill from Strategic Resources West, the consulting firm that studied the district’s need for future school facilities.
What they talked about: The consultants spent months researching what they call the long range facilities plan and came up with various needs and priorities for the school district. The report divides the district into two sections ” the area east of Wolcott and the area west of Wolcott.-
West of Wolcott is where most of the growth will continue, Reimer said. Development in the valley has been driven by the resort industry throughout the last 10 years, and that’s changing, he said. The district should plan to have three main high schools, rather than just the two here currently, he said.
Another priority was for Brush Creek Elementary School, an Eagle school that keeps growing in the number of students. He said the district should jump on the chance to buy land just north of the school so it could build separate buildings there, which it could later sell as commercial office space when another elementary school could be built.-
Reimer also pointed out that expansion opportunities for Eagle Valley High School need to remain high on the list so that school can offer comparable programs to the new Battle Mountain High School in Edwards. Options for that include buying the nearby trailer park and shared use agreements with the town of Gypsum for property south of the school.-
Phil Onofrio, the school district’s chief financial officer, said he wanted to meet with the school board and staff as soon as possible to get some direction on whether the district should start buying or selling any sites and several other topics the consultants suggested. He also called the future use of the old Battle Mountain High School “the big elephant (in the room).”
Wildfires have become more numerous, bigger and more destructive in the past 40 years. That’s a big deal in a town surrounded by public land.