Preschool leading to larger discussions
Planning for a new preschool in South Routt County may involve more than just creating a place to teach young children.
“It’s sort of spilling over into a master plan discussion as far as the school district is concerned,” said Jan Kaminski, an architect with the Mountain Architecture Design Group hired by the South Routt School District to plan a new Early Learning Center.
At Thursday’s South Routt School Board meeting, board members heard information about the center from the public and Kaminski, then discussed plans to move ahead with site selection, slated to occur late next month. Current options for preschool care in South Routt are limited primarily to the Board of Cooperative Educational Ser-vices, or BOCES, center in Oak Creek.
Kaminski and a site selection committee are considering three sites for the preschool — one each in Yampa, Oak Creek and Stagecoach.
Although a preliminary survey of construction criteria such as snow storage, soil quality and wind exposure gave the best score to a site near South Routt Elementary School in Yampa, Kaminski said “social factors” gleaned from public comments also significantly will influence site selection.
Much of that public comment, he said, touted bringing a preschool to Stagecoach.
“Everybody in Stagecoach (involved in that site’s preschool committee) is excited to see the growth out there,” he said.
Developer Brian Stahl has donated a 10-acre plot of land from his as-yet-undeveloped Neighborhoods at Young’s Peak subdivision in Stagecoach to the school district. The site could provide a site for an early learning center and eventually an elementary school. Plans for the subdivision include 136 homes.
Kaminski said he plans to have a final report for the board that will analyze all public comments and construction data for the sites. The report should be completed within the next couple of weeks.
The board is scheduled to review that report at its Feb. 16 meeting and may hold a special meeting two weeks later to finalize the selection of a site.
“We’re trying to make the April 1 grant round at DOLA,” Kaminski said, referring to the state Department of Local Affairs. The school district has entered into a contract with the department for a grant to help fund the preschool’s construction.
— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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Work to form a new strategic plan for the Steamboat Springs School District will start next week with the first sessions of a listening tour aimed at getting broad community feedback.