Building blocks: Option B, a new pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school | SteamboatToday.com
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Building blocks: Option B, a new pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school

At a glance:

Option B—New pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade campus

Size: 90,000 square feet

Proposed location: 35-acre Steamboat II site

Cost: $24.3 million for construction of school, $76.7 million to $83.4 million total for Option B

New district enrollment capacity: 2,900 (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.

Building a new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school in the Steamboat Springs School District would alleviate all current capacity issues within the district and would likely provide adequate space for students for at least the next five years.

At a glance:

Option B—New pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade campus



Size: 90,000 square feet

Proposed location: 35-acre Steamboat II site



Cost: $24.3 million for construction of school, $76.7 million to $83.4 million total for Option B

New district enrollment capacity: 2,900 (currently 2,365)

Steamboat Springs High School has the capacity to house its growing population over the same period of time and isn’t projected to reach capacity until shortly beyond 2019 — the last year included in the district’s August demographer report.

A proposed 90,000-square-foot pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade campus potentially built on the district’s 35-acre Steamboat II site would include 32 new classrooms for kindergarten through eighth grades, or the space for about 640 students.

Despite the added capacity, creating a new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade would pose a challenge for middle school sports, and there are potential concerns that having preschool students on the same campus as eighth graders is too wide of an age span, according to Superintendent Brad Meeks.

A positive of Option B is that it adds more capacity than an elementary school but costs less than a high school, said Jeff Chmaberlin, an engineer with RLH Engineering working for the district.

“The biggest pro is that it’s less money,” Chamberlin said.

The new campus could cost $24.3 million for construction alone, and as with the option to build a new elementary school, would be coupled with numerous renovations at the district’s existing campuses.

Small group learning areas and room for preschool students would be added at each elementary school, as well as an addition of a cafeteria at Strawberry Park and the removal of modular classrooms at Soda Creek, for a combined cost of $5.8 million.

Renovations at the existing middle school would be downgraded from what would take place under the new elementary school option, but the middle school would still receive a new “maker space” lab and renovations for more small group learning areas, all at a cost of $10.9 million.

Roughly the same renovations at Steamboat Springs High School would take place whether the district builds a new elementary or a new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school. These include a new gymnasium and athletics addition, a STEAM space and the addition of art, physical education and science classrooms.

Renovations at the district’s Seventh Street site would allow Yampa Valley High School to move into the district’s current preschool space, and updates to the district’s transportation facility would also occur under this option, at a cost of $293,700 and $575,000, respectively.

In total, the cost of the pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school and the renovations on the remaining campuses would cost $56.7 million in construction costs, or a project total of $76.7 to $83.4 million when soft goods, permits, professional charges and other costs are added in.

Meeks said what while the cost for each of the proposed options seem high, that’s the reality of school construction.

“There always seems to be a bit of a sticker shock. But it’s much different than remodeling a house, and we’ve got different codes for a public school building,” Meeks said. “I think it’s always expensive — and it probably won’t get any less expensive five years from now.”

Superintendent Brad Meeks said he’s hoping the community will understand the situation the district faces in terms of capacity and provide feedback for what the best solution is.

“Help us decide what we should do,” Meeks said.

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


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