The Dolores School District RE-4A has restarted discussions about constructing a new school.
The school board originally approved a plan to build a new school in March 2020.
On March 10, the board restarted conversations about the project and on Thursday voted to continue the process, naming Master Plan Design Advisory Group to guide the effort. The group has a proposed work timeline running from July through June 2023.
Superintendent Reece Blincoe will help to finalize the community committee.
The building initiative would require that voters approve a bond measure. The district also would need to qualify for a Building Excellent Schools Today grant from the state to offset costs.
Blincoe told The Journal the district will discuss whether the school would stay at its current location or move to another site.
Moving the school has drawn a mixed reaction in the community.
In August 2019, the school board approved a master plan for a BEST grant that included a new secondary school.
But that fall, engineers, architects and officials cited flood plain problems at it current site and proposed building a campus at a new site.
In March 2020, the school board voted to reconsider its plans in an upcoming BEST grant cycle.
The initial estimate for on-site construction was $45 million, compared with $57 million for a campus at a new site.
Blincoe said new cost estimates will be needed because construction costs have increased since 2020. The project was halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A previous site selection committee found a 121-acre parcel at 29733 Colorado Highway 184 to be the most favorable of three suggested off-site locations.
“We still have a long ways to go in talking about this,” Blincoe said.
Several factors play a part in the decision to build a new school. Among them are aging facilities and a lack of space, Blincoe said.
“Our middle school’s busting at the seams,” he said.
Meanwhile, the elementary school has a temporary portable building.
“I'm glad that this is starting up again. Our facilities need to be evaluated, we need to be doing something on this,” said Board Secretary Clay Tallmadge at Thursday’s meeting. “It was unfortunate that we took a break, and I’m excited to move forward.”