Tenants sparse for Minturn Middle School | VailDaily.com

Tenants sparse for Minturn Middle School

Sarah Mausolf

MINTURN – Only two groups nibbled at an offer to lease space inside Minturn Middle School – and both already use the building.

Ski and Snowboard Club Vail submitted a proposal to keep Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy where it is. The other proposal comes from SOS Outreach, which uses the kitchen and gym as a staging area for summer wilderness groups. No new tenants emerged.

The proposals were due on Thursday to the Eagle County School District.

“I’m a bit surprised there weren’t more submitted,” School Board President Connie Kincaid-Strahan said. “One of the reasons we had a formal R.F.P. [request for proposals] is because there were so many people interested and there was so much discussion about it.”

The district had been seeking tenants because middle school students are moving to the old Battle Mountain High School in Eagle-Vail. That building is being refashioned into a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school for Minturn Middle School and Meadow Mountain Elementary students. Students are moving in the fall.

By renting out the Minturn school, district officials hope to offset the cost of maintaining it. The district puts that cost at roughly $290,000 per year.

It’s too soon to say whether the proposals that came in would cover that cost, Kincaid-Strahan said. She’ll have a better idea once a committee reviews the proposals on Tuesday.

The district has not yet decided whether to move Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy.

“There are lots of pros to keeping them there,” Kincaid-Strahan said. “But if the ski and snowboard club can’t support the operating costs of the building, then we certainly have space available in other buildings where we can move V.S.S.A.”

Staff plan to update the board on the proposals at the Feb. 26 school board meeting, Construction Administrator Elizabeth Koontz said.

Stone Creek Charter School officials had been considering submitting a proposal but opted against it.

“It’s really not in a favorable place for us,” Stone Creek School Board President Ron Wolfe said. “It’s on the far side of Minturn.”

Also, he said the school is not big enough to house both the charter school and the ski academy.

With Stone Creek’s lease in Avon set to expire this coming summer, school officials are searching for a new home.

“We’re looking at a couple pieces of land to relocate to,” Wolfe said. “We’re negotiating on those now.”

Eagle River Fire Protection District wants to lease a handful of classrooms at Minturn Middle School for 12 weeks per year starting in 2012 for its resident firefighter academy. Their request is part of the ski academy’s proposal for the building.

School board member Carrie Benway said she is less concerned about the quantity of the proposals for Minturn Middle School than the quality.

“As long as the building is utilized well, I am not concerned at all by the quantity but more that we have two good applicants.”

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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