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Mancos school board chooses leader for bond committee

Alan Mathews will help advertise ballot issue
One of the aging school buildings the Mancos School District wants to remodel.

At a meeting on July 17, the Mancos board of education asked a longtime coach to lead a team of volunteers in getting the word out about a bond issue in the upcoming election.

The school district received a $19.79 million Building Excellent Schools Today grant in June, which the board hopes to use for a major building remodel. But the estimated cost of the project is $25 million, so the directors hope to raise $5 million more with a bond issue that will be on the town’s November ballot. Director Monty Guiles asked Mancos High School graduate Alan Mathews, who has coached several of the district’s sports teams in the past, to lead a committee that could communicate the district’s message to the public before the election.

“We need someone who is so in tune with our community as to not let us down, and we immediately thought of you,” Guiles told Mathews.

Mathews agreed to head the committee, but he said the board needs to come up with a plan for the remodel that can be easily explained to the public, including detailed conceptual drawings if possible.

“I support this,” he said. “I want it more than anybody, but we need to err to the side of caution and make sure we have clarity, or we will lose this.”

He said he hoped to set up a booth with information about the ballot issue during the Mancos Days festival on July 28-30, when a large number of Mancos residents would be gathered in one place. Superintendent Brian Hanson said he would attend the committee’s first few meetings and help the volunteers brainstorm ways to inform the public about the bond and the building project.

During the meeting, the board also discussed possible delivery methods for the project. Several board members spoke favorably of a “design-build” construction plan, which would allow them to make just one contract with a company that would act as both designer and builder, but they did not take a vote.

Other action

During the meeting, the school board also:

Accepted the resignation of elementary physical education teacher Drew Pearson and approved a stipend of $9,057.27 for him.Approved the hire of Liza Eschallier to take over Pearson’s position.Renewed Hanson’s contract as superintendent for the 2017-2018 school year.Authorized capital reserve expenditures for a maintenance shop addition.Approved the purchase of chemical cabinets in order to properly store chemicals in the middle and high school buildings.Adopted the first reading of a policy that would lift the district’s suspension of a rule regarding accumulated sick leave for employees.Adopted the second reading of five other policies, including one regulating the staff sick leave bank.

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