A decision by the Colorado Supreme Court to not hear a petition challenging a school district bond election means that planning for the projects to be funded by the bond, as well as their construction, can move forward.
The state’s highest court ruling is another defeat for community activist Eric Sutherland who has challenged a 2016 general obligation bond election in the Poudre School District.
Sutherland has contended that in its ballot language the school district did not fully disclose how the proposed $375 million bond would be spent.
In response, Poudre School District officials have held off doing any work on the proposed projects until Sutherland’s petition ran its course.
Now, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision, the district has announced that it will issue the general obligations bonds as soon as possible to fund several projects, including the building of one new school, and the expansion of another.
“We are pleased to have this matter resolved and to move forward with building the schools our community needs,” Superintendent Sandra Smyser said in a statement after the latest court decision.
Although up to $40 million is expected to be spent on general upgrades to all of the district’s schools, one of the biggest projects will see the building of a new elementary school designed to accommodate up to 600 students on the southeast side of Fort Collins.
That structure, currently called the Southeast Elementary School, will go up near the intersection of Larimer County Road 30 and Larimer County Road 5.
The current Zach Elementary School at 3715 Kechter Road is scheduled to see the building of two additional classrooms, as well as the expansion of an existing cafeteria.
A document issued by the district called the Long Range Planning Update says that design work on the Zach school will begin this fall, with construction set for next spring.
Design work on the Southeast Elementary School will most likely begin either later this year or in early 2019, with a planned completion date of fall 2021.
By Garry Boulard
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