Meeker School Board places pair of bond issues on Nov. 4 ballot

MEEKER — Board members of the Meeker School District recently approved the two bond measures required to go ahead with construction of a new elementary school.
The bond measures on the Nov. 4 general election ballot will raise about $24 million for the new school and improvements to the middle and high schools. Costs of all proposed construction projects are almost $26 million.
Representatives of Neenan Archistruction, the firm designing and managing the project, provided the board with detailed plans for the new elementary school. They also suggested ways the district could save on construction costs for all of the projects, if the board felt such savings were necessary.
The new Meeker Elementary School is designed as a two-story, mountain-style building. A stucco and stone veneer will cover the school’s exterior and metal supports will look like wood beams. The school will have a metal snow-shedding peaked roof.
Interior design is based on the “pod” concept, which creates groups of classrooms so that teachers can share resources and supervision, when needed, the Neenan representatives said.
Neenan also discussed different ways of contracting their services, each of which could have benefits for the district and/or the Neenan, depending on various factors.
The Neenan crew also noted that the school will have the latest and most efficient energy and ventilation systems which can save money for the district in the long term. Board member Jerry Oldland asked about solar power. Neenan staff said they currently are working on a solar project that may be beneficial to the district if things work out.
While the new elementary is the primary object of the bond issues, the board is hopeful certain projects to improve conditions at the middle and high schools also can go ahead once voters approve the bond issues, if they do.
For instance, the board would like to improve air quality and lighting fort the high school, and the ventilation system, among other things, at the middle school. Those projects would be done in whole or in part depending on available funds.
At the Sept. 2 meeting the board approved a new coaching contract for Hallie Blunt.
Phil Fox of Coloradans for a Stable Economy made a presentation to the board on Initiative 113 which is also known as the “Scholarship Fund Initiative,” according to www.ballot-pedia.org. The initiative, which will appear on the statewide ballot as Amendment 58, would increase the oil and gas severance tax, eliminate a property-tax deduction energy companies take against the tax, retain an exemption for smaller wells and direct most of the new revenue to college scholarships.
Superintendent Dan Evig talked about the new accreditation contract and the district’s unemployment insurance company.
The board also approved a high school student for early graduation.