Steamboat Springs School District lays out five options for capital construction |

Steamboat Springs School District lays out five options for capital construction

— An architect hired by the Steamboat Springs School District to explore capital construction options within the district presented five possible scenarios during a community meeting Tuesday night.

About 30 master planning committee members attended the meeting, led by architect Matt Porta of SlaterPaull, and spent an hour discussing the scenarios in small groups before working together to narrow the options.

Each of the scenarios work to address student enrollment, which already exceeds desired capacity at district facilities, and is expected to continue increasing over the next several years.

Scenario 1: Build additions to each of the existing school sites.

Classrooms and a new cafeteria would be added at Strawberry Park Elementary, classrooms would be added at Soda Creek Elementary, a gymnasium and a STEM lab would be added at the middle school, classrooms, a STEM lab and gym would be added at the high school and classrooms would be added at the district site for Yampa Valley High School.

This scenario would keep schools in current locations, but there isn’t much available space at each site, so new additions would mean building vertically or eating up green space. This scenario wouldn’t solve traffic concerns at the existing schools.

Scenario 2: Build a new elementary school.

Students pulled out of the existing elementary schools would relieve the schools’ space issues, leave room for preschool or small group learning space and eliminate modular classrooms. Localized additions mentioned in Scenario 1 for the middle and high school would still happen.

This option addresses growth, but there isn’t much space for additions at the middle and high school.

Scenario 3: Build a new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school.

Interior renovations will still take place at the elementary schools and at the middle school, but not major construction additions. An addition would still be added to the high school.

This would address elementary and middle school growth but might complicate middle schools sports.

Scenario 4: Build a new high school.

The middle school and district office could be moved to the current high school campus, but Yampa Valley High School would need to find a new location.

Convert the current elementary schools to preschool to second grade campuses and make the current middle school site a third through fifth grade campus.

This addresses all long-term needs, but it’s the largest magnitude project considering all the movement.

Scenario 5: Purchase and utilize the Heritage Christian School site in one of three ways.

The building’s residential-style construction would best withstand options that put small children or adults in the building. Use it as either an early education center for preschool and kindergarten, as a new district office and Yampa Valley High School site or as a small elementary school that could accommodate one unit of each grade level, with room for some extra classes.

Moving district facilities to the HCS site would allow the district to sell the current Seventh Street site.

These options would still require localized remodels and additions at the existing schools, and if HCS were turned into a small elementary campus, more space would still be needed in the district within five years.

Narrowing options

After splitting into three groups Tuesday evening, committee members, which include administrators, community members, board members and district staff, favored Scenario 4, building a new high school. This option was preferred for being the best long-term solution, committee members said.

Other popular options were Scenario 2, a new elementary school, or Scenario 3, a new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school.

The least popular option was Scenario 1, pursuing additions on each of the existing schools.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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