Valerie Jarvis: More questions about the Whistler school site
I put up the petition to oppose a school at the Whistler site, not because I am opposed to schools but opposed to a very large school at this location. Every rendering the school board shows of the site, places the majority of the proposed school on the 5.3 acres of Mount Werner Water property and the access of U.S. Highway 40 that they do not own.
The proposed school size of a 74,000-square-foot building, with an estimated two-story building height of 30 feet and a gymnasium height of approximately 50 feet, does not fit this residential area or meet the requirements set forth in the City of Steamboat Community Code — Jan. 1, 2018. For example, ensure adequate infrastructure, lessen congestion in the streets, preserve existing neighborhood character, maintain open spaces and protect natural resources to name a few.
This large size school is hard to visualize at the Whistler site and seems more appropriate for the Steamboat II site with 35.1 acres. There are a lot of problems, issues and questions to be answered about the Whistler site, here are just a few:
1. When will you make available to the public the undetermined costs to provide a bridge over Walton Creek, floodway and the wetlands?
2. Where are the traffic studies for the Whistler site and revised access to U.S. 40?
3. Please provide a third party study of the Steamboat Springs student demographics.
4. Please provide Emergency Services Access review with Child Safety Access review.
5. What are the true environmental and green space impacts?
6. In your Feb. 11 Advisory Committee recommendation for Steamboat School District long-term facility planning, it is stated, “I like the new PK-8 option out west of town where growth is.”
Comments are allowed on the petition site and this one really sums it up: “It appears that the school district and the city did not jointly have an effective long-term plan to put a new school at Whistler Park. The current roads and neighborhoods are not appropriate for the increased traffic and the park has become a mainstay of the neighborhood. If the school district truly had its sights set on putting a new school in this location, coordination with the city and its residents should have occurred many years ago. It is now simply too late to force this change and impact to the neighborhood. Clearly the local residents are not asking for the city to give them a local school in their neighborhood.”
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