School district, YVEA reach agreement on purchase of school site in west Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

School district, YVEA reach agreement on purchase of school site in west Steamboat

Scott Franz

This is the property, known as the Overlook property, where the new Steamboat Springs High School will be located if voters approved a $92 million bond in November. The red outline in this graphic shows the majority of the property, which also extends further north, located off Downhill Drive along the western city limit of Steamboat Springs.

— The Steamboat Springs School District has signed an agreement to purchase a site for a potential new high school in west Steamboat for $3.6 million.

“We feel excited about it, because it gives us a lot of flexibility,” Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Brad Meeks said of Yampa Valley Electric Association’s 70-acre Overlook property, the purchase of which will allow the district to build the new high school within city limits.

Meeks said the district will soon do an appraisal of the property, which lies just west of West Acres, to ensure the purchase price meets or exceeds the appraised value.

He added part of the purchase agreement with YVEA will allow the electric cooperative to develop a sustainability project on a 1.5 acre portion of the site that could incorporate solar gardens or electric vehicle charging stations.

YVEA General Manager Diane Johnson said the sale of the property to the school district will allow YVEA to offset the costs of purchasing and renovating its new headquarters on Elk River Road.

“We believe this is a good business deal, and when you add on top of a good business deal all of the benefits that come to play because it’s a good community decision, I think that’s very positive,” Johnson said.

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The construction of a new high school on the western edge of the city is the Steamboat Springs School Board’s top option to address capacity issues at the district’s schools.

It also became clear it was the most popular choice of community members who attended a series of meetings to discuss the future of school facilities in the city.

After constructing a new high school, the district would move the middle school to the current high school and convert the former middle school space into a new elementary school serving grades 3 through 5.

The Steamboat Springs School Board will continue discussing the facility plans at its Aug. 3 meeting.

Next month, the board will consider moving ahead with a November bond referendum to pay for facility upgrades.

The school board last month voted unanimously to allow Meeks to sign the contract to purchase the YVEA site, provided specific appraisal language was included.

Meeks said a new high school would occupy about 50 of the 70 acres on the property.

The remaining land could be used for such things as a new elementary school in the future or ballfields.

The projected closing date on the sale of the Overlook property is Jan. 8, 2016.

If the school board goes ahead with a bond referendum, the district will be able to decide whether to move forward with the purchase of the property after the election results are known.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10