In a northern Colorado school district that has in recent years experienced double-digit enrollment growth, plans are now underway for the construction of two new schools.
The more than half-century old Greeley West High School, located at 2401 35th Avenue, has long been in need of upgrading.
But a study conducted by the Cunningham Group architectural firm, which has offices in Denver, earlier recommended that the facility be torn down and replaced with an entirely new facility.
Now voters in the Greeley-Evens School District have given their approval to a $395 million bond that will pay for the construction of a new Greeley West High School, as well as a handful of other facility projects.
Also scheduled for work: the construction of two new elementary schools, and a 50,000 square foot addition to the S. Christa McAuliffe STEM Academy at 600 51st Avenue.
Another 35,000 square foot addition will go up at the Chappelow K-8 Arts Magnet School at 2001 34th Street, while every school in the district is slated to see safety and security upgrades.
During the campaign for the bond, school officials noted that the district has grown by more than 7,000 students since 1999, and now has at least 5,000 more students than it can reasonably accommodate.
Even more pressing: estimates indicate that the district may see the addition of another 1,400 students in the next few years.
The enrollment growth is reflective of the population growth in larger Weld County, which added 10,000 new people in just 2017 alone, and today has a total population of more than 314,000.
That population growth is primarily sparked by oil and natural gas production, an industry so large locally that earlier this year Weld County launched its own oil and gas department with the idea of more efficiently processing drilling permit applications.
The Greeley-Evans School District is headquartered in Greeley, but also encompasses the city of Evans.
By Garry Boulard
Get stories like these right to your inbox.