FACILITIES TASK FORCE

The Facilities Task Force was created to address the topics of deferred maintenance and facility needs for Steamboat Springs Schools.  Members of the Facilities Task Force are Kevin Sankey (chair), Karl Bunker, Jim Darcy, Todd Raper, Suzy Sayle, Niki Struble, Tammy Lake, Collin Kelley and Deb Ginesta.

A series of Community Forums were held in late March and early April to discuss the current challenges and potential pathways to a solution. Please contact us to present to your organization. The committee plans to present potential recommended solutions to the Board of Education on May 8, 2017. All CC4E meetings are open to the public.

Click here for the presentation given at the outreach meetings and Community Forums. A video link will be uploaded mid-April.

Click here for the handout with overview of the current challenges distributed at each meeting. 

DEFINING THE PROBLEM

OVERCROWDING - Our middle and elementary schools are currently overcrowded, and our high school will soon be over capacity.

MAINTENANCE AND UPDATES- Our schools and facilities require maintenance and updates left unaddressed since the recession.

OVERCROWDING - OVERVIEW
STUDENT GROWTH – Capacity Challenges
Steamboat Springs School District has student capacity issues at multiple buildings in the district.

MIDDLE SCHOOL: Steamboat Springs Middle School is currently 50 students over capacity. Projections increase student enrollment every year. 

SODA CREEK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Soda Creek Elementary has four classrooms in the 5th grade outside the main school building in temporary modular units.

HIGH SCHOOL: Steamboat Springs High School will reach capacity in five years.

STUDENT DENSITY INFORMATION

STUDENT GROWTH – Demographic Report
Steamboat student enrollment continues to grow despite the recession. Growth trajectory slowed, but did not decline. In fall of 2016, CC4E released an updated demographics report.

IMPACTS ON ENROLLMENT
  • Local birth rates - 90% correlation with elementary enrollment.
  • Long term growth trends - average 1.7% since 2000.
  • Competitive school options – opening of new Montessori school.
DEMOGRAPHIC PROJECTIONS
The Cohort Survival projection model used in the updated demographics report uses the enrollment from the previous class factored against a historical growth trend to calculate the following class year projection. Increases and declines in elementary enrollment follow class through middle and high schools.



OPTIONS TO ACCOMMODATE INCREASING ENROLLMENT
  • We could do nothing and expand class sizes - Steamboat voters approved a ½ cent sales tax for small classes.
  • We could expand on current sites at all levels (elementary schools, middle school and high school), increasing the capacity of each building.
  • We could reconfigure and change the current successful grade alignments at the elementary schools and middle school and build a new elementary.
  • We could build a new middle school at a different site.
MAINTENANCE AND UPDATES - OVERVIEW
CHALLENGES WITH CURRENT FACILITIES
Steamboat Springs School District has a backlog of facilities repairs as well as updates required to provide students with the facilities needed to prepare for tomorrow’s jobs and careers.

ACADEMIC PRESSURES: Current science labs at middle school and high school are insufficient to meet increased academic standards and student demand.

REDUCED STATE FUNDING: As a result of the recession, the state legislature cut funding to all Colorado schools to balance the state budget (Negative Factor). Since 2011, the State has cut approx. $2.5M per year in school funding to Steamboat students – a total of $17M.

BUILDING MAINENTANCE: Steamboat schools are behind on facilities maintenance. As a result of the State cuts, instead of building maintenance, Steamboat Springs School District and Board of Education chose to spend money on student-facing initiatives.

INFRUSTRUCTURE REQUIREMENTS
  • Issues with traffic flow and parking at schools.
  • Not compliant with American with Disabilities Act (ADA) at some buildings.
  • Demand for broadband (internet) has increased dramatically over past decade.
  • Recommended security standards for schools have changed.
SHARED COMMUNITY SPACES AND COMMON AREAS
  • Cafeteria/stage area serve as current gym at Strawberry Park Elementary.
  • Demand for turf/gym space from school programs and community has grown.
  • High school turf and track is also past its lifespan.
  • Insufficient gym space at middle school used by multiple youth sports clubs.
  • Outdated facilities for Boys and Girls Club.
OTHER COLORADO DISTRICTS
We are not alone. Many school districts across the state are experiencing the same budget situations with capital, deferred maintenance and operations. 24 of 178 school districts in Colorado had bond elections last November 2016, totaling $4.2B. 18 passed and eight failed.

EAGLE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT passed a $144M bond in 2016 for preK-5 rebuild, major renovations of three schools due to aging systems, increased capacity needs and building preservation. 

SUMMIT SCHOOL DISTRICT passed a $68.9M bond in 2016 to address critical repairs (roofs, heating, electrical and plumbing) and upgrades in all buildings, improve accessibility for students and staff with disabilities, update safety and security systems and address enrollment growth/overcrowding at both the middle and high schools. Summit also passed a $1.8M mill levy for ongoing funding for capital construction, new technology and upgrades and ongoing maintenance.

ROARING FORK SCHOOL DISTRICT passed a $122M bond in 2015 for reconstruction of an elementary school, purchase affordable housing for teachers and staff, a new preK-8 school for 320+/- students to reduce overcrowding, renovation of all middle schools, and address safety issues. In 2011, RFSD also passed a $4.8M mill levy override for operations to attract/retain quality staff, for materials and technology, to preserve small class size, and mitigate future State budget cuts.
WHY NOW?
Steamboat schools are thriving and continue to win academic achievement awards. We want to continue that trajectory. Investing in our schools now will benefit the entire community.

  • Keep class sizes small.
  • Provide needed technology and science labs for our students.
  • Keep us competitive with other top school districts in Colorado who have passed similar bonds and mill levies.
  • Increase the possibility of expanded joint use partnerships with community groups who want to use our facilities and generate revenue for Steamboat at major sporting events (Triple Crown, Soccer Championships, Lacrosse Tournaments, etc.)
  • Plan for the next 10-20 years.
  • Increased property values.