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Committee likely to take up Steamboat schools facility discussion

Committee will be formed to guide schools facility discussion

Scott Bideau, a Steamboat Springs School Board member and proponent of the $92 million school bond issue, and Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Brad Meeks talk about the bond's failure Tuesday night. Voters rejected the measure by a three-to-one margin.
John F. Russell

— Superintendent Brad Meeks has spent the last six weeks listening to community members who have an opinion about why the Steamboat Springs School District’s November bond measure failed.

Meeks told the Board of Education on Monday that he’s met with many individuals and small groups who supported and opposed the projects the bond would have funded, and he said the community is supportive and eager to get involved.

“Everybody that I’ve talked to is anxious to help,” Meeks said.



Meeks and board chair Margie Huron agreed that the next step will be the formation of a committee that will guide a new process to determine the best ways to address district overcrowding and facility needs.

Meeks said he’s either met with or had the names of more than 40 people given to him who might be good candidates for a potential committee.



“I’ve started to compile a long list of people that are interested,” Meeks said.

When talking with members of the community, Meeks said reasons brought up for why the bond failed included concerns about community outreach, the location of a new school, whether to build a high school or elementary school, the cost and tax impacts, the role of board members and the business community’s lack of involvement in the process.

Some solutions that were identified included using Heritage Christian School, trading acquired properties with other properties, adding modulars to temporarily address overcrowding and keep class sizes small, building additions to existing schools, building athletic fields off-site and others.

The District Accountability Committee has also offered to help facilitate a town hall community meeting to kick off the new process, Meeks said.

Meeks said he also believes it’s a good idea for the board and district to keep options open for now.

Meeks said he negotiated with Yampa Valley Electric Association to extend a purchase option for the Overlook property, the proposed location of a new high school associated with the failed bond measure.

The option was extended to April 8 from its original ending date of Jan. 8.

“It gives us some more time, and I think the YVEA board would be receptive to extending that even further, but they want to see what we’re going to do,” Meeks said.

Huron said she’d like the board to have a further discussion about the creation of an advisory committee during the board’s next meeting Jan. 11.

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


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