School district ‘beaming’ over building projects; bonds bring $10 million more than expected |

School district ‘beaming’ over building projects; bonds bring $10 million more than expected

Workers weld the final steel beam into place of the new Eagle Valley Elementary School on Wednesday, Jan. 24, in Eagle. The beam was signed by students and Eagle County school board members.
Chris Dillmann | |

Eagle Valley Elementary School

• 75,000-square-foot building area

• 292 tons of steel

• 1,805 linear feet of wood beams

• 18,151 square feet of sidewalks

• 1 community garden

• 63 new trees

• 185,000 square feet of native seeded area

• 60,000 square feet of turf grass

• 20,346 square feet for play equipment area, including 2 bear caves, 2 log jams, rock and boulder structures

• 65 tradesmen on site daily

• 120 tradesmen on site daily at peak

Eagle Valley Middle School

• 103,412-square-foot building area

• 1,094 linear feet of concrete foundation walls

• 16.6 tons of rebar

• 2,588 linear feet of wood beams

• 24,539 square feet of sidewalks

• 4,822 square yards of carpet

• 8,976 square yards of resilient flooring

• 53 new trees,

• 200,000 square feet of native seeded area

• 100,000 square feet of turf grass, including 1 football field

• 65 tradesmen on site daily

• 120 tradesmen on site daily at peak

Source: Eagle County Schools

EAGLE — The school district is beaming, both literally and metaphorically.

On Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 24, beneath a brilliant blue Colorado sky, the school board hung the final steel beam on the new Eagle Valley Elementary School, one of the many projects funded by the voter-approved bond.

School board members stayed on the ground as workers ran the crane and welded the beam into place. That beam, the final piece of steel hung on the school, was autographed by dozens of students, as well as staff members and the school board. It will be painted, of course, but those signatures will be enshrined in Sharpie forever.

Metaphorical beaming

The metaphorical beaming comes from being pretty darned pleased that the school district has $10 million more to work with than it originally thought it would.

Instead of selling $144 million in bonds, the school district only had to sell $131,770,000 in bonds. It earned a premium of $22,332,114.70, for a total of $154,102,114.70.

Even with another $10 million, the total payoff does not change. It’s still $232,898,947.22.

The additional $10 million will go to programming in schools and address more facility needs at all of the locations, said Sandy Mutchler, the school district’s chief operating officer.

Teachable moments

Eagle Valley High School is an education space surrounded by a construction zone, which creates some teachable moments.

For example, when massive machines were pile driving steel beams, music teacher Pat Sheehy’s students broke out the metronomes and determined that the machine was hammering the beam at 58 beats per minute.

Construction superintendent Brandon Hern graduated Eagle Valley High School. In fact, 10 job superintendents working these projects are EVHS grads.

Walking through the site, he pointed to a spot on a concrete block wall painted Eagle Valley Devil red. When he was a Devil, his locker was “right there.”

The hallways will be 10 feet wide. In the building now, the hallways are 8 feet wide. Between classes, Eagle Valley’s 900 kids in those hallways are packed tight.

They poured the bottom level concrete two weeks ago and the second floor concrete last week.

Go ahead, ask Hern the question.

“It’s on time and on budget,” Hern said, answering the question he answers all day, every day.

Eagle Valley Elementary

Eagle Valley Elementary School will be 75,000 square feet, and with the final beam in place, it’s built on 292 tons of steel.

It was designed to be what it is: a school that helps bolster educational programs, said Jeff Chamberlain with RLH Engineering. It was not designed as a vehicle for architects to win awards.

And yet, Eagle Valley Elementary School won design awards from the Association for Learning Environments, Chamberlain said.

And yes, he was beaming when he announced it.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and