Building blocks: Option A, a new pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade school | SteamboatToday.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Building blocks: Option A, a new pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade school

At a glance

Option A, a new PK-5 campus

• Size: 67,000 square feet

• Proposed location: 9.2 acre Whistler Park site

• Cost: $16.5 million for construction of school, $73 million to $81.5 million total for Option A

• New district enrollment capacity: 2,800 (currently 2,365)

District officials have informally discussed asking voters to approve a bond measure as early as November to fund either a new pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade or a new high school to address increasing enrollment within the district. This series takes a closer look at the three options.

The idea to build a new elementary school in the Steamboat Springs School District was first proposed by a demographer hired by the district last summer.

Shannon Bingham, of Western Demographics Inc., had studied the district’s enrollment in the past and in August reported that if the district adhered to its own desired student-teacher ratios for classrooms, its elementary schools were already over capacity, and the middle school was next.



At a glance

Option A, a new PK-5 campus

• Size: 67,000 square feet



• Proposed location: 9.2 acre Whistler Park site

• Cost: $16.5 million for construction of school, $73 million to $81.5 million total for Option A

• New district enrollment capacity: 2,800 (currently 2,365)

“You need to add another school or you’re going to be dealing with problems,” Bingham said last August.

Soda Creek Elementary and Strawberry Park Elementary combined have a desired capacity of 940 students, though about 1,083 students are at the two schools this year, a difference of about 143 students. Some of those extra students are in modular classrooms installed in 2014 at Soda Creek.

The demographer estimated that by 2019, the district’s elementary schools would be over capacity by a conservative low estimate of 323 students or a high estimate of 524 students.

A proposed new 67,000-square-foot pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade campus potentially built on the 9.2-acre district-owned Whistler Park site would include 24 new classrooms for kindergarten through fifth grade students, or the space for about 480 additional kids.

“It addresses the capacity more immediately at the elementary level,” Superintendent Brad Meeks said.

Presented by architect Matt Porta of SlaterPaull/HCM during a meeting last week, this new campus would cost about $16.5 million for construction.

Under this scenario, upgrades to the other elementary schools would also take place, adding a new cafeteria and a small group learning space and the incorporation of a preschool into Strawberry Park. The option would include removing the modular classrooms and incorporating small group learning spaces and preschool space into Soda Creek, with combined construction costs at those two sites at about $5.8 million.

In an effort to bring all district buildings up to the same standards in quality and program needs, upgrades would also be made at Steamboat Springs Middle School, where more classrooms, a cafeteria and a fitness room would be added, with a cost of construction estimated at $10.9 million.

Upgrades at Steamboat Springs High School would include a new main gymnasium and athletics addition, a STEAM space and the addition of physical education, art and science classrooms. These renovations, which would include 45,000 square feet of new construction and additions, would cost $20.6 million for construction.

The addition of a classroom and some common area space at Yampa Valley High School and a 4,000-square-foot addition to the district’s transportation facility would also take place, at a cost of $825,000 and $575,000, respectfully.

In total, a proposed new elementary school and proposed renovations on the existing campuses would cost about $55.4 million for construction, which would then be added to costs for development fees, soft goods in the classrooms, permits and other professional charges, estimated by Porta to run anywhere from 24 to 32 percent of a total project’s cost.

Based on the cost of construction added to additional goods and services needed to finish each school, an estimated total project cost calculated by the Steamboat Today would range from $73 million to $81.5 million for what the district is calling Option A.

The bulk of the cost for this option is for upgrades to the district’s existing schools, the scope of which will be evaluated once district officials and the school board select an option to move forward with, according to Meeks.

“Then we can really sit down and the staff and the community can weigh in a bit more on what we absolutely need,” Meeks said.

While this option would provide more space for the most impacted grade levels and is the least expensive scenario the district is considering, it would do little to address upcoming space issues at the middle school level and has been characterized at a facilities meeting as having the smallest impact on improving the parking challenges at the district’s current schools.

Meeks said that while the option to build a new elementary school was the first idea proposed to address increasing enrollment, the option doesn’t address the long-range needs of the district, which will include more space at every grade level.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email tristow@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

 

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


News


See more