The new elementary school to be built in the vacant 83,000 square foot Old Middle School needs only about 40,000 square feet for the school, and as of now the other half will be empty. One alternative is partial demolition of the about 40,000 square feet multi story half of the 83,000 square foot building, which is unfeasible to demolish into subareas, and renovate the other one story half if the school cannot find qualified occupants that can be mixed with kids. Can you think of suitable uses to fill the other 40,000 square foot half attached to the elementary school?

The School plans to put the Bus Barn on the track above the building area and the Playfields and Skateboard Park near the building. But then there will not be not enough area for parking to meet code requirements for the other half of the building. The Bus Barn there is just the path of least resistance since the School owns the property, near the Rec Center baseball fields would be better.

Another alternative may be about 80 housing units enabled by the parking freed up by demolition of the other building half and better Bus Barn location. It would be irresponsible for the School to just leave the 83,000 square foot building half empty with only unqualified prospects now for people to deal with later. The school should study alternatives now, hold a live public forum in Carlson School gym and be accountable to the kids, citizens and taxpayers.

Mike Caistor, Idaho Springs