Community members review four options for Steamboat school expansion
Steamboat Springs — About 50 people turned out for a Steamboat Springs School District master planning presentation Wednesday to learn more about four options the district is considering to update its facilities.
The options include building a new pre-kindergarten through fifth grade school, a new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school or a new high school, or purchasing and somehow utilizing Heritage Christian School west of Steamboat.
Community members were eager to know the costs of each proposed option, but architects Matt Porta and Lyn Eller, of SlaterPaull, said those numbers wouldn’t be available for two weeks, and right now, the district’s planning team just wanted to know which option was most appealing to the community.
“Ultimately, money comes into play, but we’re not there yet,” Porta said.
Parent Suzie Romig said the district team would be wise to get cost figures available to the public sooner rather than later.
“Realistically, you have to go for a bond issue,” Romig said. “It seems to me that [you should be] getting those numbers out there and how much it would affect your property bill so people can chew on it for a long time.”
Wednesday’s meeting was the first time the district’s architectural team had included possible site locations for each of the options. Presentation boards displayed a new elementary school on the district’s 9-acre site near Whistler Park or a new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school or a new high school on the district’s 35-acre Steamboat II site.
“For the first time, we’ve put a footprint on the site, and we can talk about the pros and cons of the site location,” Porta said.
Engineer Jeff Chamberlin, of RLH Engineering, said that in addition to the Whistler and Steamboat II sites, the district was still considering other site options that might be available for purchase.
A number of variables exist for each of the four options, and the architects hoped Wednesday’s meeting would provide valuable feedback from the community for narrowing the options, so they could better develop the preferred choices.
Porta and Eller spent little time discussing the district’s “Option D,” the purchase and utilization of Heritage Christian School.
Porta said building onto the existing wood-framed Heritage Christian School wasn’t ideal, and Eller said converting the school into a small pre-kindergarten through fifth grade or a small pre-kindergarten through eighth grade campus wouldn’t create enough classroom space to eliminate the need for an additional pre-kindergarten through fifth grade or pre-kindergarten through eighth grade campus.
After presenting the options, community members wrote down feedback and questions on comment cards for the architects, but no decisions to narrow the options were made during the meeting.
The district’s next facility master plan community meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 29 at Steamboat Springs Middle School.
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