Our View: New school celebrates learning, community
The 2021-22 school year started momentously for the Steamboat Springs School District with the opening of the new Sleeping Giant School on the west side of town. The new school serves pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students, and it is a magnificent space for children to gather and learn.
A ribbon cutting to mark its opening was held last week, and it was a beautiful sight to see so many families, teachers, students and community members come together to celebrate learning and honor the work it took to get the new school built. The pride people are already taking in the facility was palpable, and it truly took a village to make the vision of a school in west Steamboat Springs a reality.
After plans to build a new high school west of town met with resounding defeat at the ballot box in 2015, school district leaders regrouped and embarked on a campaign to gather community input and create a plan for a new school that voters would support. And in 2018, the district returned to its patrons and asked them to support a $79.5 million bond issue to build a pre-K through eighth grade school and fund improvements at all of the district’s existing campuses.
The measure passed by a narrow margin, and those 3,552 people who voted in favor of the measure should be particularly proud of what they made happen. In hindsight, the initial defeat at the polls resulted in a planning process that was more collaborative in nature and an eventual solution that better meets the needs of a growing school district. As Superintendent Brad Meeks said at the ribbon cutting, “It took everybody to make this happen, so everybody has got a piece of this.”
At issue: The Steamboat Springs School District marked the beginning of the 2021-22 school year with the opening of the new Sleeping Giant School.
Our View: The new campus is beautiful and perfectly located to serve the growth that is occurring on the west side of town.
• Logan Molen, publisher
• Lisa Schlichtman, editor
• Marion Kahn, community representative
• Laraine Martin, community representative
Contact the Editorial Board at 970-871-4221 or lschlichtman@SteamboatPilot.com.
In our opinion, Sleeping Giant School is perfectly located to serve Steamboat’s changing landscape. As the cost of housing pushes people out of the city, growth is naturally occurring to the west. The new school is set up well to serve families who live in the neighborhoods that already exist in west Steamboat, as well as those who will be moving to the area as more homes are built over the next decade on property east of the new school now owned by the Yampa Valley Housing Authority.
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Sleeping Giant is also a real neighborhood school. Students from the Silver Spur, Heritage Park and Steamboat II neighborhoods can bike or walk there, and a number of parents from those nearby areas served on the design advisory group that helped to shape how the new school was built. People living in the downtown area have enjoyed schools they could walk to for decades, and it’s nice to see the growing number of families who live to the west enjoy the same amenity.
So congratulations, Steamboat Springs School District, on opening a new school on time and under budget. It’s a beautiful addition to an already exemplary school system that puts student learning at the forefront of all it does. And while school buildings provide the framework for learning to occur, it’s the teachers and staff members inside those walls that create the educational environment for students to learn and grow, and as we embark on a new school year, we honor them and acknowledge their hard work and commitment.
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On Tuesday, Peak Health Alliance, a nonprofit, locally-led insurance purchasing alliance, gave a presentation to the Routt County commissioners. We attended the meeting (remotely), and this is what we learned: