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Dolores school district learns it is third on the list for BEST grant

If the district isn’t awarded the grant this year, they will apply again in 2025.
This is the district’s second year applying for the grant

Last Wednesday, the Dolores school district heard the long-awaited results of its BEST grant application.

According to Superintendent Reece Blincoe, the district is three spots away from being awarded the grant. A school ahead of Dolores cannot accept the grant unless its bond is approved.

“It’s a long shot, but possible,” Blincoe told The Journal. “If not, Dolores will apply again next year.”

This is the second year that the district applied for a BEST grant to build a new high school and provide updates on campus.

In November, voters approved the district’s proposed bond. If the district is awarded the grant, the $11.21 million bond would aid with construction of the school.

Out of 1,613 votes, the bond received an affirmative vote from 57.10% (921) of voters and a no from 42.90% (692) voters.

If the school does not receive the grant in 2024, the district will reapply in 2025.

The BEST grant helped to build Montezuma-Cortez High School, renovate the Mancos campus and Dove Creek Elementary School, which is anticipated to be finished before the 2024-2025 school year.

So far, Phase 1 of the building project in Dolores has been discussed and approved. If the BEST grant is awarded, it would cover nearly all the building costs for Phase 1.

Phase 1 includes a new two-story high school building, a covered walkway to the new science building (which will include agriculture labs and offices), cafeteria renovations, an infield building between the commons and current high school building, new administrative office, new bus lane, dedicated parking for high school students and staff and a lobby for the gym.

In their last school board meeting, Superintendent Blincoe told the board that they would be presenting to the BEST grant panel, and would know the results soon after. Also in the previous meeting, Blincoe informed the board and attendees about his intention to resign from the district at the end of May.