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Board of Education Work Session Recap December 6th, 2017
News from Sheridan School District No. 2


Contact: Mark Stevens


303-495-8699 (mobile) • 720-328-5488 (office)


News Release


Dec. 6, 2017


Board of Education Considers Plan to Build New High School and Meet Facility-Related Health and Safety Needs


The Sheridan Board of Education next week will consider a resolution that would set in motion a plan to apply for state grant money to build a new high school and address a host of other health and safety needs across the district. 


During an informal work session Tuesday (Dec. 5), the board expressed interest in the outline of a staff proposal to request a grant through the state’s Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program, the same program that led to the state shouldering the vast majority of the construction cost of Fort Logan Northgate School.


Cyndi Wright, Director of Facilities and Transportation for Sheridan School District 2, told the board that a new high school would cost an estimated $52 million. In addition, said Wright, the district faces a hefty list of needed repairs to address critical health and safety needs in other buildings (primarily at Alice Terry Elementary School and the building that houses both SOAR Academy and the Early Childhood Center).


As with the grant that led to the construction of Fort Logan Northgate School, the state dollars would only flow if there is local support in the form of a successful local bond election.


Chief Operations Officer Kristen Colonell told the board that the district’s current bonding capacity is $27 million. Under state minimum match requirements, $16.1 million of that would be required to be spent on the high school project. The remaining $11 million, if approved, would begin to address additional district needs including roof replacements, fire alarm improvements, site improvements including storm drainage work, and critical work on heating and plumbing systems.


The next round of BEST funding begins immediately in early 2018, said Wright, and will require considerable staff time in January and February.  Wright sits on the state board that oversees the BEST grant process. She would recuse herself from voting on Sheridan’s proposal. Nonetheless, Wright told the board she believes Sheridan has a “compelling story” to tell, given the legitimate health and safety needs. 


Board of Education president Bernadette Saleh and board members Daniel Stange and Karla Najera expressed support for moving ahead. No formal vote was taken. Board member Sally Daigle was not present. Board member Najera expressed concern about the increasing cost of housing in Sheridan and asked what the district can do to help keep housing affordable for existing Sheridan families.


Wright, Superintendent Michael Clough and Deputy Superintendent Jackie Webb all concurred with the concern—and said the issue was a community-wide topic, not something the school district could address by itself. “We can't do it by ourselves and the city can't do it by itself,” said Wright. “It’s all intertwined.”


Sheridan’s increased assessed valuation means that the local share will require a higher percentage of the total cost—31 percent—than the last time Sheridan went through the BEST grant process, when the local share was 24 percent.


Representatives from WOLD Architects, Aimee LaLone and Job Gutierrez, joined Wright and Colonell in the presentation this morning. WOLD designed Fort Logan Northgate School and helped shepherd the entire project from start to finish.


“I feel like we have a good solid team to present a compelling story,” said Wright.


“Not to mention experience,” said Saleh. “That counts for a lot.”


Superintendent Search

Also at the work session this morning, the board indicated it will hire a search firm to assist with its search for a new superintendent. The board asked for additional conversations with two potential vendors. One is Ray and Associates, based in Iowa. The other is the Colorado Association of School Boards. Superintendent Clough is leaving the district at the end of June, 2018.


About Sheridan School District 2

Located southwest of Denver, Sheridan School District 2 seeks high-level post-secondary options for all students through continuous improvement of quality instruction. More: www.ssd2.org



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Sheridan School District NO.2
4150 South Hazel Court
Englewood, Colorado 80110
email: info@ssd2.org
phone: (720) 833-6991
fax: (720) 833-6650