Vail Valley schools: Stone Creek eyes old Battle Mountain high
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – With Stone Creek Charter School’s future location in Colorado’s Vail Valley uncertain, school officials have their eye on the old Battle Mountain High School.
But would the Eagle County School District consider leasing space to the charter school?
Stone Creek’s current lease with the town of Avon expires June 30, and it’s unclear whether the town will extend the lease.
Stone Creek Charter School board member Russell Molina said he’s interested working with the school district for a lease on any district property that might be available.
Leasing a wing of the old Battle Mountain high in Eagle-Vail is one idea, he said.
Charter school board president Mike Rindone said he plans to meet with the superintendent of Eagle County School District this week. He plan to express interest in leasing space at the old Battle Mountain high, Meadow Mountain elementary, Red Sanstone elementary or Minturn Middle School in the event the district decides to rent them out.
“I’d like to be, basically, in their plans,” Rindone said. “I have 200 kids over there [at Stone Creek] that need a home and we’re doing great.”
The Eagle County School Board has been weighing turning the old high school into a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school for Meadow Mountain and Minturn Middle School students. An alternate proposal from Avon parents Andy and Jenny Strehler calls for combining Red Sandstone and Meadow Mountain students at the old Battle Mountain high, and leasing space to the charter school at the old high school or Meadow Mountain.
Eagle County School Board president Scott Green said the charter school would face stiff competition for a lease at the Eagle-Vail property.
About three dozen nonprofits have expressed interest, and other private schools may be looking for homes, Green said.
Stone Creek charter school is not part of the Eagle County School District, he stressed.
“It’s not our fiscal responsibility as school district to make sure that Stone Creek has a home,” he said.
Ron Wolfe, a Stone Creek board member and Avon’s mayor, agreed the school district has no obligation.
“It should be a business relationship,” he said. “We can be a tenant and that’s what we’re looking for. If they need tenants, we are raising our hand.”
Eagle County School Board members Carrie Benway and Connie Kincaid-Strahan said the board has not discussed leasing space to Stone Creek.
If the district converts the old high school into a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school, it would house just under 400 students, school officials have said. The building would be designed to hold at least 600 students, leaving room for enrollment growth.
The charter school has 208 students, Molina said.
Stone Creek Charter School’s current location is in question as Avon officials weigh whether they can extend the lease.
Wolfe said Avon needs the Stone Creek land for a construction staging site while the town expands its public works department. But the town doesn’t yet know whether it will receive grant money it needs to start the project, he said.
The developers of Traer Creek have offered to provide alternate land for the construction staging site, confirmed Michael Lindholm, a representative for the developer.
“We’ve expressed a willingness to set up some sort of arrangement that works so that Stone Creek can stay open and keep their kids there,” he said.
Longterm, the town has earmarked the Stone Creek Charter School land for an annex to the public works department, Wolfe said. The town plans to house snow plows, dump trucks and other vehicles on the land, he said.
Staff writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.