One or two new elementary schools could be going up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in response to double-digit enrollment growth within that city’s school district.
Officials with the Steamboat Springs School District say they have seen the number of students in the district increase by some 24 percent in the last decade, for a current total of just over 2,600.
It has been projected that that number will jump to more than 3,000 in the next decade or so.
In February, a district advisory committee said the need for a new school facility, or perhaps even two, could have a price tag of anywhere from $50 million to $120 million.
That same committee also estimated that it would cost up to $147 million to pay for upgrades and renovations to the district’s existing schools to accommodate the enrollment growth.
Where exactly any new school will be built has not yet been determined, although members of the Steamboat Springs School Board last November moved to purchase nearly 36 acres on the west side of the city.
The district already owns more than 30 acres in the same area.
Board members have said that they want to move cautiously in the direction of any new school construction, noting that in 2015 Steamboat Springs voters, by a nearly 80 percent to 20 percent margin, turned down a $92 million bond to build a build a new high school.
Whether the school board votes in favor of building one or two schools, as well as renovating existing structures, the work will have to be funded by a bond that would go before voters in November.
Known primarily as a winter ski resort destination, Steamboat Springs has seen its population more than double since the late 1990s, according to the U.S. Census, to an estimated 12,700 today.
By Garry Boulard
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