New school construction speeds ahead

Facility remains on track to open for 2014-15 school year

Elbert School District business manager Bev McGuire dons a hard hat Dec. 17 at the construction site of the new $20.6 million Elbert school. McGuire said the project remains on track to open in the fall of 2014.
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Construction crews recently topped off the superstructure of the town of Elbert’s new $20.6 million school and the project remains on track to welcome students in the fall of 2014.

“It’s really going up quickly,” said Bev McGuire, the district’s business manager. “Architecturally, it’s going to be one of the most attractive and innovative schools around.”

The new Elbert school, which has been under construction for six months, will encompass about 73,000 square feet and also will include a separate 3,000-square-foot maintenance building and bus garage.

McGuire said the old school, which was built in the 1930s and added on to seven times over the years, will be torn down in late May or early June to make room for a larger school parking lot.

With 21 preschool through 12th-grade classrooms as well as a cafeteria, library, gymnasium and auxiliary gym, the new facility should provide more than enough room for the 200 students currently enrolled in the town of Elbert school district.

Construction of the new school was inanced, in part, by a $17.3 million state BEST grant.

In 2012, Elbert was one of 14 districts across the state to pass local funding mechanisms to qualify for a Building Excellent Schools Today, or BEST grant, which were offered through the Colorado Department of Education.

The school district qualified for the grant when voters approved a $2.8 million bond issue, which passed in 2012 by a 52 percent to 48 percent margin.

Two earlier attempts to pass a school bond in Elbert were unsuccessful.

Elbert’s new school will be the county’s second new public school to open in the past two years: the Big Sandy Schools, a new preschool-through-12th grade facility in Simla, opened at the beginning of the 2013 school year.