FORT LUPTON — Weld Re-8 school district officials are on the hunt for an architect firm to draw up plans for a possible new Quest Academy school.
Officials may choose the architect firm at the end of March to draw up plans for the new pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school in Dacono’s Sweetgrass subdivision, said John Hoag, school district superintendent. The school currently is housed in a series of modular buildings on neighborhood land donated by the developer.
Choosing an architect firm now will help the school district “beat the rush” of potential demand created by school bond issues passing in November, Hoag said. School district officials have not said yet how much they plan to spend on the project, but they’ve invited eight Colorado architectural firms to bid on it. “Developer fees” collected from new homes built in the area could pay for the chosen architectural firm, Hoag said.
“More districts go to the public during presidential election years, which equates to more demand for architects, more demand for laborers and contractors, which means their price will go up,” Hoag said. “So, if you can get in a little bit early, then you beat the rush.”
Voters in November may be asked to approve a $35 million bond issue to pay for the new school as well as for safety upgrades at other schools in the district. The exact bond amount has not been set or approved yet.
An architect firm also would help with election planning and bidding, and contract services, according to a press release from the school district. The district has budgeted roughly $100,000 for pre-bond planning, according to Derek Spinuzzi, a spokesman for RLH Engineering Inc. in Windsor, the company chosen by the school district to serve as project manager for the potential new school.
Eight architectural firms have expressed interest in the Quest project. Proposal responses for the project are due by Tuesday, March 29, Spinuzzi said.
RLH may get paid as much as $30,000 for its work through November on the bond issue, Spinuzzi said. If any potential bond issue does not pass in November, RLH will not get paid, Spinuzzi said.
Officials floated a similar bond issue for $25 million in 2015. It failed by slightly more than 80 votes.
At the same time, school district officials want to put together a team of parents and other community members to review all school facilities and discuss priorities in advance of any new bond issue, according to the press release.
Community members who want to be part of the new group can contact Wendy Sarazen-Faulhaber at firstname.lastname@example.org. The group’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 12th, at Twombly Elementary School, 1600 9th St. in Fort Lupton.