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Eagle County schools may house more teachers

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” With cost-of living still the biggest reasons why teachers leave Eagle County, the school district is considering becoming a major investor in the proposed Stratton Flats affordable housing development in Gypsum.

Stratton Flats, located on the western side of the airport, is a neighborhood of 336 homes ” 226 of them carrying deed restrictions, and a third of those with price caps.

This development, called the “Second Miller Ranch” by some, will include everything from small, one-bedroom condos, selling for about $165,000, to 2,020-square-foot single-family homes for around $370,000.

With a $500,000 investment, the school district would secure about 38 homes in Stratton Flats that it could sell at reduced prices to teachers.

Eagle County is partnering with Meritage Development Group, the developer of Stratton Flats, and is investing $4.5 million in the project. Eagle County is seeking partners like the school district to invest as well.

The school board could decide, possibly as soon as the next board meeting, if it should get involved.

The $500,000 wouldn’t be a donation ” the district would gain their investment back as they sell the homes to teachers or staff, said Phil Onofrio, chief financial officer for the district.

“This would be a no-cost way to help our employees ” we aren’t going to donate half a million dollars,” Onofrio said.

The school district has also been assured that its investment would be guaranteed ” if something were to go wrong in the development, the district would get its money back, Onofrio said.

The school district is also considering investing in the West End ” an Edwards development that will include 72 affordable homes.

The district has around 30 low-cost and temporary housing units, but there’s usually a waiting list.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or mterrell@vaildaily.com.


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