Important Time of Decisions

Our district is in the midst of some important decisions regarding our future. It might be easy to sit in a coffee shop or at a friend’s house and provide thoughts on what may be happening. It is quite another to bring your thoughts and ideas to a public forum.

On November 6, 2019, our administration is hosting a forum to gather community input. The main topic will be the future location of the district campuses. We need to hear your thoughts about staying in our current location and renovating our site or purchasing a lot and building a new facility.

The board voted to accept the master plan ( designed by an architectural firm and formulated through four different community meetings. It is also in compliance with the requirements of the Colorado Department of Education Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Grant. This master plan is developed with the current location in mind. There is not a plan for the location of our sports fields so that would need to be a separate discussion. The funds for the fields are itemized in the final cost analysis.

In the last few weeks, we have had the BEST Grant engineers from the Colorado Department of Education, our contracted grant writer Colleen Kaneda, Ph.D., Principal Engineer, LEED AP BD+C qualified with Dynamic Program Management, and our architects on our current site looking at the scope of our projects. Due to the many discussions and even concerns, we have also been exploring possible options for the purchase of property for a brand new preschool – twelfth grade facility. The driving factors in this consideration are:

  • Safety and security of our current campus.
  • Limited acreage on the current site.
  • Location of the current site in a flood plane that has a rising water table.
  • Cost of demolishing all buildings and bringing in fill to raise everything 3-4 feet.

Due to the factors listed above, another option is now on the table to consider. Should we stay where we are and renovate some buildings and completely demolish and redo others? Or, should we reallocate the use of our current facilities and move the campus to a higher location? These are the questions for which we are seeking the community’s input.

We are open and transparent about any possibilities. Please look on the website, call the district office, or set a meeting with the superintendent to gather any information needed to help provide input at our Community Conversation on November 6th. Our board must represent their constituents and the only way they will know what you think and feel is to listen. Please come and share all of your thoughts. The district staff is also encouraged to participate as well as all of our parents. If you are reading this and your child comes from Cortez or another surrounding area, we want your input as well. Students are also welcome to attend and let the board and administration know their thoughts. It will be helpful for others to know how our students feel about the future.

As questions from the community begin to come into the district office, more posts will follow to answer these.

Seeking what is best,

Mrs. Lis Richard, Superintendent