Ground breaks on Hayden's new school |

Ground breaks on Hayden’s new school

The executive design committee Kevin Lind, Rhonda Sweetser, Jody Camilletti, Eric Friese, Christy Sinner, Gina Zabel, Judy Parrott and Nancy Sean celebrate the start of the Hayden School District’s new school. (Photo by Kari Dequine Harden)

HAYDEN — Construction began Wednesday on Hayden’s new pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade campus, with the doors anticipated to open at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

In addition to a state-of-the-art new school for the district’s 435 students, many of whom attended the groundbreaking ceremony, the new school will also provide space for the community and will be the “heart of our town,” according to Superintendent Christy Sinner.

A few things had to happen to “make a dream become a reality,” Sinner said. First, the district needed public support in the form of the passage of a $22.9 million bond in 2017.

By the numbers

Cost estimate breakdown for Hayden’s new school

  • $5 million: Design and consulting fees
  • $2 million: Permitting and utilities
  • $1 million: Asbestos abatement
  • $1.5 million: Furniture and technology
  • $50.5 million: Construction
  • $1 million: Demolition

It was close — the voted deadlocked on election night at 427 to 427. But victory was confirmed after a recount found a two-vote margin in favor.

Then came the application for the state BEST — Building Excellent Schools Today — grant, which would give Hayden the matching money needed to fund the construction.

The 2017 application was denied.

“But we learned a lot,” said board member Kevin Lind at Wednesday’s ceremony.

In May 2018, the district found out it had finally been awarded a $38.8 BEST grant.

The Colorado State Board of Education approved $275 million in BEST grants in 2018, the largest amount given to date, and a 60 percent increase from the $172 million awarded in 2017. The grants are funded through state land proceeds, lottery funds and marijuana tax revenue.

One of the core values, during the whole process, said Lind, was flexibility, and knowing that “education in the 21st century is going to change.”

“I’m so excited for these kids to be in a space that is so much more conducive to learning,” said Board Treasurer Medora Fralick. “And so much more conducive to creativity. And we are going to have windows.”

The new building will be a stark contrast from the old building, with its dark, drafty hallways and windowless classrooms.

Lind was also a member of the Design Advisory Group, which met for a year and consisted of 19 community members and educators.

They held public forums and gathered information from administrators, teachers, students and residents. Cuningham Group Architecture was selected as the design team, and Adolfson & Peterson Construction was chosen as the contractor.

The new campus is being built next to the elementary school off of Breeze Basin Boulevard. The old elementary school will be renovated and incorporated into the new campus.

While the school is being constructed next year, the elementary students will join the middle and high school students on their existing campus.

While some options for another entity to take over portions of the old school are being explored, no plans have been finalized at this time.

If another entity is not found, the BEST grant requires the old campus be demolished.

“I think its going to be awesome,” said fourth-grader Jordan Stewart of the new school. “It’s going to have a lot more light in it.”

He said he’s also excited for the new football field.

“It’s going to have a new life to it,” added seventh-grader Emily Rajzer.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email or follow her on Twitter @KariHarden.

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