Steamboat School Board to discuss city’s interest in building fire station west of town |

Steamboat School Board to discuss city’s interest in building fire station west of town

School district approached about potential to build fire station on land it owns near Silver Spur

Scott Franz

— The Steamboat Springs School Board on Monday night will discuss whether a parcel of land it owns west of Steamboat could be a suitable location for a new fire station.

School Board president Brian Kelly said Friday that the district recently was approached by Steamboat Public Safety Director Joel Rae about the potential to build the station on part of the 35-acre parcel it owns near the Silver Spur neighborhood.

Kelly said the property, which is east of Steamboat II, was donated to the district by the Steamboat Education Fund Board in 1997 as a potential school site.

He added that the Fund Board purchased the land for about $360,000 at a time when the district’s student population was growing.

"The idea back then was we could put a new middle school and elementary school out there," Kelly said.

He said city officials have not made any offer on the property, but they are inquiring about its potential for a fire station.

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As part of its effort to relocate its emergency services out of downtown, the city of Steamboat is proposing to construct a new police station and two fire stations, one of which would be west of town.

Rae and other city officials, including Fire Chief Mel Stewart, have said a new station near Steamboat II and Heritage Park would improve response times in that part of town and also the overall efficiency of the city’s emergency services.

The construction of the new station is dependent on successful negotiations with the Steamboat Springs Area Fire Protection District over sharing the cost of a new station.

City officials are proposing the rural fire district cover 73 percent of the operating costs of a new station west of town.

On Thursday, Rae said the school district property is one of multiple sites being considered to house such a station.

The Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday night will weigh the relocation proposals and also decide whether to sell its existing downtown emergency services building.

Kelly said no site planning has been done on school district’s property, and he planned to superimpose the district’s current elementary and middle school campus on the site to give the School Board an idea of what kind of campus it could support in the future.

He added that the board wouldn’t want to "over encumber" the property and prevent a school from being built there in the future.

Also at Monday’s meeting

• The School Board will get a glimpse at how technology is being used in classrooms at Steamboat Springs High School. The presentation is a continuation of a technology tour the board embarked on in early October to learn more about students were utilizing new tech tools.

• High school staff will present the board with their campus’ Unified Improvement Plan. The plan will include a summary of students’ performance on the Transitional Colorado Student Assessment Program, or TCAP, and will outline how school staff plans to help students meet certain curriculum guidelines.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email