Eagle County Schools taps the brakes on Maloit Park employee housing project
School board will take a longer look at district’s housing needs
GYPSUM — The board of education for Eagle County Schools will take a longer look at employee housing, including its Maloit Park project.
The school board says it needs the extra time to create an overall housing master plan, including an employee survey to determine what its employee housing needs truly are.
“We need to look at housing issues across the entire district,” Sandy Mutchler, the school district’s chief operating officer, told the board.
The school district’s 18.3 acres in Maloit Park is one of several parcels and proposals being considered for staff housing. For now, the Maloit Park plan puts housing where the community rummage sale used to be and the space next door.
It’s still a couple of years away — probably further out since the school board decided to take a more comprehensive look at its overall housing needs.
Conversation and compromise
Tessa Kirchner said the project should move forward in a more timely manner.
Felicia Battle said it’s a steep learning curve and that members of the board are not real estate developers, or development experts of any kind.
“The extra time allows us to create the best housing plan for our employees. The extension is not only good for the residents, it’s also good for us,” Battle said.
In the meantime, the board will survey school district employees. The district is required to notify its Maloit Park residents within six months of their move-out date.
In the end, the seven-member school board asked the district staff to come back with a more detailed timeline before making any final decisions.
Besides Maloit Park, the school district is working with Habitat for Humanity Vail Valley to develop 12 townhouses on 2.3 acres in Gypsum between Red Hill Elementary School and Gypsum Creek Middle School.
About Maloit Park
Maloit Park is 85 acres, most of which is relatively flat. Of that, 39.5 acres are zoned as recreation/open space. That includes the Cross Creek corridor, wetlands and riparian areas, and more steeply sloping terrain at the south end of the site.
Nearby are 46.8 acres zoned for mixed use. The workforce housing project will be located in that mixed-sse area, where the community rummage sale used to be held, and the park next door.
Maloit Park was annexed into Minturn in 2011. The annexation agreement between the town and the school district allows for up to 137 housing units.
Maloit Park is already a fairly busy place. It’s home to the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy, Nordic skiing trails, hiking trails, open space, wetlands, and some current school district workforce housing.
Wolves were a problem for ranchers when Kip Gates’ great-great-grandfather homesteaded in the area. He doesn’t want the problem to return.