School district’s workforce housing plan a work in progress |

School district’s workforce housing plan a work in progress

Unfinished Maloit Park plan leaves families in limbo

The Eagle County School District will build workforce housing on 18.3 acres it owns in Minturn's Maloit Park. When it will begin, though, remains to be determined.
Special to the Daily

School district employees living in Minturn’s Maloit Park would love to know when they have to move out so the district can begin building more employee housing.

The school district would love to tell them, but cannot yet.

The school district will build workforce housing on the 18.3 acres it owns in Maloit Park. How much and how soon are still to be determined.

Six months notice

State law requires the school district to give Maloit Park residents six months to leave their homes before the district can begin construction.

When that clock begins ticking is still not clear, and that’s causing some consternation with those families.

Initially, June 30, 2020, was floated as a move-out date for Maloit Park residents. That date turned out to be more floating than firm when the school board decided it needed a comprehensive workforce housing plan. Its Maloit Park plan would be designed around that data, at least in part.

The results of an employee survey could be available next month, which means the school board could pull the trigger on its Maloit Park project in its January meeting … or not … and the 14 Maloit Park families would have to move out six months later.

It’s an emotional yo-yo for the Maloit Park families, school board president Kate Cocchiarella said, thanking them for their patience.

Maloit Park resident Tanya Rippeth asked the school district to hold off forcing them to vacate until six months before development actually begins.

“There’s a sense that you would rather have us out now, and avoid a similar situation that occurred in Gypsum,” Rippeth said. A trailer park was displaced when Eagle Valley High School was remodeled and expanded.

Rippeth’s husband, Eric, who also addressed the school board, is a fifth-year teacher. Rippeth works in Vail Health’s human resources department. Their two children are Nordic skiers and attend Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy.

They bought their Maloit Park home in 2017 and love living there, Rippeth said.

“You have our commitment to cooperate when it is time to begin construction,” Rippeth said.

A work in progress

The district’s housing plan remains a work in progress, but Rippeth said she and her family would like to remain in Maloit Park and their home, she said. If that doesn’t work out, they’ll either move downvalley or leave the area entirely.

“It’s not our intention to move anyone out of there before we need to,” Shelly Jarnot of the school board said.

On the other hand, the board has a responsibility to move the project forward, Jarnot said.

Workforce housing is not new territory for the school district, which entered into a similar deal 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.

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