Please think of the future |

Please think of the future

Scott Green

As the president of the Eagle County Board of Education, I urge you to vote “yes” on ballot question 3B. This bond question is the culmination of two years of community discussions, input meetings and districtwide public opinion surveys that all pointed to substantial community support for repairing and upgrading existing facilities, constructing a new high school and elementary school, and planning for-rather than reacting to-future growth. However, the community also told us that the original price tag on the project was too large. As a result, the Board of Education fine-tuned the package based on the priorities identified by the community and scaled the bond package to $128.37 million.Following are the final facilities improvement projects that will be included in the bond question using the actual wording you will see on the ballot: n REPAIR AND UPGRADE OF EXISTING CLASSROOMS, SCIENCE LABS AND SCHOOL BUILDINGS INCLUDING HEATING AND VENTILATION, ELECTRICAL WIRING, AND ROOF REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT TO IMPROVE THE SAFETY, HEALTH AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF EXISTING FACILITIES, MEET CURRENT STANDARDS, AND TO PROVIDE LOCAL STUDENTS WITH SCHOOL FACILITIES EQUAL TO THOSE FOUND IN NEIGHBORING DISTRICTS;nTECHNOLOGY ENHAN-CEMENTS IN ALL BUILDINGS;n REPAIR AND UPGRADE OF EAGLE VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL TO MEET CURRENT DISTRICT CURRICULUM AND BUILDING STANDARDS, AND TO EXTEND THE USEFUL LIFE OF THE FACILITY;n CONSTRUCT A NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LOCATED ON MILLER RANCH IN EDWARDS TO RELIEVE OVERCROWDING;n CONSTRUCT A NEW HIGH SCHOOL ON MILLER RANCH IN EDWARDS TO INCREASE HIGH SCHOOL CAPACITY; REPLACING BATTLE MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL; nREPAIR AND REMODEL BATTLE MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL FOR FUTURE EDUCATIONAL AND COMMUNITY USES; ANDn PURCHASE LAND IN THE EAGLE AREA FOR A FUTURE SCHOOL SITE TO PROVIDE FOR ENROLLMENT GROWTH ON THE WEST END. As a resident of Gypsum, I would especially like to appeal to my friends and neighbors on the west end of the valley to support this bond question. In 1998, Eagle County voters passed a bond that resulted in three new schools in Gypsum and Eagle, along with an addition to Eagle Valley High to help ease the west-end crowding at the time. Now it is time for us to support a similar initiative to ease crowding on the east end of the valley. The passage of the bond would also result in around $8 million in renovations to Eagle Valley High, including enlarging the current cafeteria, which is at about 150 percent capacity. The Eagle Valley High cafeteria hasn’t changed since I attended high school there in 1984 and it was crowded then. West end schools will also benefit from the technology upgrades and facilities repairs that this bond will make possible across the district.Finally, I appeal to all of you to think of the future. While the east end of the valley is experiencing crowding today, all of the enrollment projections point to a shift in population to Eagle and Gypsum. The passage of this bond will allow us to purchase a 45 acre parcel of land near Eagle for a future school. Land appropriate for a school site is becoming scarce and gets more expensive every day. It would be a shame for us to miss this opportunity. We will eventually be asking for the support of our east end neighbors to support new buildings for our children in Gypsum and Eagle. This fall, let’s act in the best interest of all of the children in the valley and support our schools. Scott Green is the president of the Eagle County Board of Education.

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