Day: Rangely school buildings face significant issues

Board considering $13M bond
RANGELY — At the end of the 2007 school year, the Rangely Board of Education began to look at the necessary capital needs to keep its buildings safe and secure, functioning efficiently and conducive to education. The study began by examining potential sources for input and data.
According to Superintendent Jim Day, the board and administration initially used its own knowledge of facility maintenance and repair needs. This expanded with an energy audit conducted by Chevron Energy consultants. The third phase solicited input from all staff members as to their perception of needs. The most recent analysis was done by the Blythe Group, an architectural and engineering firm with extensive experience in the area of capital projects for public school.
Blythe’s analysis highlighted mechanical, architectural and grounds needs. At present, the board is gathering input from a community group.
“Your school buildings, as with your homes, age over time,” Day said. “Systems become obsolete and abandoned by manufacturers and equipment just plain wears out. The roofs of all buildings are in need of either significant repair or replacement. As leaks have developed, this allowed water to seep and sometimes run onto the ceilings and behind brick fascia.”
According to Day, every building in the district has major ceiling damage and damage to brickwork and surrounding concrete.
“Anyone who has attended a program in the auditorium understands the great concerns with the lighting and sound systems,” Day said. “We as a community are unable to make full use of this beautiful facility due to these concerns. The air handling units that were installed when the buildings were built no longer function correctly or in some cases do not function at all. This leaves areas of the buildings hot in the summer and spring and cold in the winter. This is definitely not an environment that is conducive to education for either students or staff. This is compounded by the fact that repair parts are difficult if not impossible to find.”
According to Day, there are additional issues that need to be addressed with security at the buildings’ entrance. He noted that structural changes are needed at the middle school and high school to produce a well monitored environment.
Additionally, he said there are multiple interior and exterior doors that can no longer be locked due to shifting soils.
“The moving soils have also created some significant structural movement resulting in major concerns in all of the buildings,” Day said. “Fire is also a safety concern as Parkview does not have a fire suppression system and none of the buildings have a fire alarm system that is presently compliant with standards.”
Day also said the technologies used by Rangely students in computer labs and libraries are in many cases 6-8 years old, and, in some instances, no longer capable of being upgraded to take advantage of current software and Internet educational opportunities.
The school buses also present a challenge for the district.
“In 1988, a very different financial time for the school district, the board purchased four new buses,” he said. “Those buses are now 20 years old and will need to be replaced in the next couple of years. We have been successful, with the help of the county, in replacing some of our older buses but do not have the resources to replace them all at one time.”
The youngest building in the Rangely School district was opened in 1986, making all the facilities at least 22 years old.
The school district board is considering requesting a bond in the amount of $13 million to be paid off in 10 years. A portion of the amount requested would be used to retire the present bonded debit.
Rangely residents are presently paying $1.03 per month on each $100,000 market value of residential property to retire this debit. Based on the present assessed valuation of the district, the total tax rate for the requested bond would amount to $2.37 per month on each $100,000 market value of residential property. This would mean an increase of $1.34 per month per $100,000.
Such a move results in a total tax for a year of $28.44 per $100,000 and an increase of just $16.08. On a median-priced home in Rangely valued at $160,000, the total yearly tax would be $45.51 which is an increase of $25.73 over the present rate.
The board will host a brief presentation and an open house the evening of Thursday, May 22. The event will be held in the high school auditorium and will be followed by short tours of each of the buildings. It encourages Rangely residents to come to the open house so that any questions you have at this time can be addressed.