Fact Check No. 4: Steamboat II site
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — This is the fourth installment in Steamboat Pilot & Today’s “Fact Check” series on key topics related to the Referendums 4B and 4C — Steamboat Springs Board of Education’s proposed $79.5 million bond and associated mill levy.
Proposed new school site: What we know now from the Steamboat Springs School District regarding the Steamboat II property.
The district owns 70 acres of property adjacent to the Steamboat II and Silver Spur neighborhoods. Following a community input process and vote by the Steamboat Springs School Board, the district selected the site over another piece of property they own in the Whistler neighborhood.
The plan for the main access to the school will be from a main driveway onto the school property from Routt County Road 42.
The school district is looking at — and open to feedback about — vehicle access from Silver Spur and Steamboat II subdivisions.
There is a right of way for road access from Silver Spur, and title work underway to determine ownership in regards to potential access from Steamboat II.
According to Superintendent Brad Meeks, “It is common practice to have a vehicle access from adjacent neighborhoods into a school for parents residing in these neighborhoods for drop off and pick up, but this has not yet been determined as the district has heard concerns from Steamboat II residents and would like to continue to gather feedback.”
Will there be a new stoplight?
Yes, the current plan includes a stoplight at the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and Routt County Road 42.
What is happening regarding water access?
The district’s application to be annexed into the Steamboat II Metro District for water and sewer was approved in August. The application was submitted to the city for approval. It will also have to be approved by the county and district court.
“In our application and discussion with the Steamboat II Metro District Board, we will be asking the city to increase the water provided, via the current contract, to more than cover the school’s water usage,” Meeks said. “Also, the school district’s property has wells that will be used to irrigate the site in lieu of utilizing potable water.”
At this time, school district officials said their understanding is that additional water will be purchased by Steamboat II Metro District from the city to meet the school’s needs with no residential impact. If annexed, the school district will become a customer of the Metro District.
What happens if the Metro Water District annexation application is denied?
The school would tie directly into the city’s water system and build an on-site septic system for sewer.
Where on the property will the school be built?
“All images to date were conceptual from the master plan and diagrammatic in nature,” Meeks said. More specific design will happen if and when the bond passes.
“The location and layout will be a result of feedback from consulting engineers, the Design Advisory Group, staff and the community,” Meeks explained. “The design team will take into account concerns about noise and lighting when situating the building. We have initially heard support for locating the building toward the southeast portion of the school district property but will want to continue to solicit feedback from the community.”
Primary concerns expressed by neighbors include traffic, noise, light pollution and accessibility. Are there any community benefits, from the school district’s viewpoint?
School district officials said the neighborhood school will serve three neighborhoods with community gathering/meeting space. There would also be a larger gym facility, athletic fields and play areas for both school and community use.
“We are expecting to extend the NCB (Northwest Colorado Broadband) Network to this location,” Meeks said. “This would then allow a Last Mile ISP (internet service provider) the opportunity to be better able to provide a high quality service to the homes in that area because we will have done the heavy lifting on providing the infrastructure to the area, which is the needed first step. If we are unable to extend our existing network initially, and we rent the connection from an ISP, it will still open up the infrastructure for other ISPs to do the same because again the initial groundwork will have been done for our needs.”
How can community members continue to stay informed and have their voices heard?
If the ballot measures pass on Nov. 5, design advisory groups will be formed and the district will hold several community meetings to update the public on the progress of design and receive feedback. The design advisory groups will consist of stakeholders who commit to attend several meetings per month from November through spring 2020 to discuss specific design plans for the new school.
To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.
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