Steamboat school board to consider middle school remodel to create new classrooms
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs board of education will hear details at its Feb. 12 meeting of a new plan to remodel former administrative offices at Steamboat Springs Middle School to create four new classrooms and lower class sizes that have grown to the high-20s in core academic subjects.
“We’re bringing forward a summer capital project,” Superintendent Brad Meeks said. “We’re having a discussion about the middle school right now.”
The remodeling project, if it is approved by the board, would be in addition to the district’s capital projects approved by the voters in November 2017 to replace the heating and air conditioning system at the middle school and more. Meeks stressed that none of the funds generated by last fall’s bond issue would be used for the remodeling project.
The superintendent said the projected enrollment at the middle school for the 2017-18 school year was 585 and currently, stands at 617.
“We have our advisory committees working on a long-term plan (for district space needs),” Meeks said, “and if we went to the ballot in 2019 (to seek funding for new capital projects), we’re four or five years out. But in the meantime, we have to do something to provide better classroom spaces for students in our district right now.”
The middle school already had teachers who roved between classrooms through the school day without a room of their own, when the school hired a new sixth-grade math and science teacher between semesters this school year, Meeks said. And there are plans to add an additional seventh grade core teacher next school year.
The school administration’s hope is that the school board would take formal action on the project at its March 5 meeting and approve the use of a funding mix taken from the district’s general fund, $1.4 million in capital reserves and an earlier voter-approved mill levy override.
District Finance Director Mark Rydberg made a preliminary estimate that the cost of remodeling 4,000 square feet at the school, including furniture, fixtures and equipment, might cost about $112 per square foot, yielding a total cost of about $450,000. But those numbers are not firm, and the district will also work with its consulting firm, NV5, if the project gets a green light from the board.
The space being eyed for the classroom expansion housed the original administrative offices when the school was built in the early 1980s. Those offices were relocated to an addition to the front of the building in 2008.
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