Vision for new Hayden school starts to take shape |

Vision for new Hayden school starts to take shape

A measure will be on the Hayden ballot for the Nov. 3 election asking residents to up sales tax by 1 cent to help pay for repairs to the old high school to turn it into a community center.
File photo

What is a BEST grant?

The BEST grant program, run by the Colorado Department of Education, was established by the state legislature in 2008 to fund a competitive grant program for schools and board of cooperative educational services to either renovate existing school facilities or to build new schools. The BEST program is funded with revenue from the School Trust Lands, State Lottery revenues and marijuana excise taxes.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Narrowing in on a vision statement, the Hayden design advisory group met Monday night to brainstorm what they want the new public school to look like.

The $38.8 million BEST grant, which the district received in May, will help fund the $61 million project that will renovate the existing elementary school into a K-12 campus, including the Carpenter Career & Technical Education Center.

On Monday, the advisory group started “to look at the design process from a 30,000-foot view,” Hayden School District Superintendent Christy Sinner said.

The advisory group consists of 19 community members and educators selected through an application process. In addition to the designers and contractors, they were joined by the executive committee, on which Sinner sits along with board member Kevin Lind, school principals and the district’s directors of finance and maintenance operations and transportation.

The executive committee put forth their list of core values:

  • Safety and security for students and staff
  • Quality, flexible educational facilities that align with best instructional practices
  • Adaptable, sustainable and operationally efficient and durable facilities that stand the test of time
  • Transparency and fiscal responsibility
  • Opportunities for community, staff and students as well as future growth and expansion

Cuningham Group Architecture has been hired to design the building, and Adolfson and Peterson Construction will be the contractor and general manager for the project.

As the architects begin to work on artist renderings, the advisory group will gather input from the community, Sinner said. The group will have a booth at the Routt County Fair and will hold a community meeting at 6 p.m. Aug. 20 in the elementary school cafeteria.

As part of the project, the old middle and high schools will be demolished, Sinner said, but there is a possibility of repurposing parts of the facilities, such as the gymnasium and auditorium. The reason for the demolition is the BEST grant dictates that the community not be left with an eyesore and that the district cannot retain ownership of the land or repurposed buildings.

Sinner said they hope to break ground in spring 2019 and have the project completed before the school year starts in 2020.

Monday’s three-hour meeting concluded with a consensus on the vision statement, from which the architects will work:

“We see students of all ages engaged and enjoying a variety of learning activities in beautiful, resource rich, multi-use spaces that inspire creativity while assuring safety and community involvement.”

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email or follow her on Twitter @KariHarden

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