School board moving ahead with Maloit Park project
Pact inked with planner, developer, as residents express some concerns
Ben and Patricia Gallegos have lived in Minturn’s Maloit Park for three decades, and they’re curious about what the school district’s plans for employee housing mean for them.
The school board inked a memorandum of understanding with local planner Tom Braun and developer Brynn Grey to create an employee housing enclave in Maloit Park.
A half dozen Maloit Park residents and school district employees met with the school board Wednesday afternoon, asking similar questions.
The short-term answer is that no one knows, at least not yet.
They’re a long way from moving people and turning dirt, said Tessa Kirchner, a member of the board.
It could take two years to design the project and work through Minturn’s approval process, Braun said. Only then would the school district begin building infrastructure.
The plan, for now, puts the housing where the community rummage sale used to be and the park next door.
A ‘gem’ of a place to live
The overall goal is to give as many teachers as possible the opportunity to live in a “gem” of a place like Maloit Park, said Shelly Jarnot, another member of the board.
“It was the same 40 years ago. Teachers were leaving because of housing. Forty years later, it’s worse,” Ben Gallegos said.
Kari Bangston teaches at the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy and also lives in Maloit Park.
“I would not be here if it was not for Maloit Park,” she said.
They understand why the school district wants to build workforce housing on land it owns in Maloit Park.
It would be hypocritical to express gratitude for living in affordable housing and then implore the school district not to create any more, said Spencer Messer, a teacher at Battle Mountain High Schools and a Maloit Park resident.
Don’t rent a moving truck just yet, though. Workforce housing in Maloit Park is probably still a couple of years out. The Maloit Park project will house school district employees, as well as employees from local businesses, according to the RFQ package.
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-use 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 & Snowboard Academy, Nordic skiing trails, hiking trails, open space, wetlands and some current school district workforce housing.
Tourism and outdoor recreation employ a lot of people, but those workers’ wages are below county and regional averages.