Rangely board buys three new buses with bond funds

Purchases to replace 20-year-old models
RANGELY — As the children’s song says, “The wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round.”
For schoolchildren in Rangely, those buses will soon be new ones.
The Rangely School Board, at its Nov. 24 meeting, approved the purchase of three new buses. Each with a price tag of about $100,000.
“As soon as we have the funds available, then we can go ahead and purchase those, rather than having to wait,” said Superintendent Dwayne Newman.
The buses are already on order.
“We should have them in late January or early February, at the latest,” Newman said.
Funds for the purchase of the new buses were part of the school district’s $15 million bond initiative, approved by voters Nov. 4.
“We should close on the bonds Dec. 19,” Newman said. “Which means the money will be transfered to our account that day. Then we pay for the buses out of that fund. The buses are already on order and should be in Denver already (getting the finishing touches). We pay on delivery, which will be after the 19th.”
The bonds were scheduled to be sold Dec. 2.
“They will electronically transfer the funds (to an account at First National Bank of the Rockies in Rangely),” Newman said. “Then the district has the money in the bank.”
The new buses will replace three older models, all about 20 years old. The district will sell the old buses.
“We will sell them, but there is no market (for used buses),” Newman said. “We will probably advertise them, or just accept any reasonable bid.”
At its meeting, the board also approved to put out bids for four other new vehicles.
“There’s an old van we are going to replace with a Suburban,” Newman said. “There’s a car we’re going to replace, so staff can go to out-of-town meetings. We are going to replace a ‘93 maintenance vehicle, and then there’s a pickup for the ag program.”
The new vehicles were budgeted as part of the school bond plan.
In addition, the board put out bids to replace equipment in the computer labs. The new computers were also included in the bond initiative.
“We’re also looking at designs for a technology room,” Newman said. “We’re going to be doing some more research, to find out what experts in the field are recommending, and visit other schools to see what they are doing.”
The board is in the process of hiring the Blythe Group, out of Grand Junction, to serve as the management company on the bond project. John Potter of the Blythe Group will be the project manager.
“(The contract) is still with the attorneys,” Newman said. “It is pretty much a standard contract with standard rates, from what I can tell. The attorney is going over it, making sure we are protected.”
Newman said the board is moving forward with plans approved by voters in the general election.
“We are rolling right along,” Newman said, adding the board recently did a walk-through of the district’s facilities with staff and parents. “To make sure we didn’t miss anything that would be part of the intent of the bond.”
In other action, the board approved adoption of a new mission statement and a new vision statement for the district.
Newman distinguished between the two statements.
“Mission is what you do, day-to-day,” he said. “Vision is where we want to go with that, where this path will lead us.”
The district’s new mission statement is: “Create a learning community dedicated to high achievement and safety for all.”
The new vision statement reads: “At Rangely RE-4 School District our vision is to be the best schools in Colorado through constant growth and achievement.”
Newman said the new statements will be posted in every classroom.
“It’s something we need to keep in front of us,” Newman said. “It all centers around building professional learning communities.”
The process of developing new mission and vision statements began in June, Newman said, and included input from board members, staff and parents.
“We needed to be clear where we’re going, so we can let our people know,” Newman said. “We put together some goals that are pretty aggressive. We have a supportive community, we have good people, we have a good board. There’s no reason this district can’t be the best one in Colorado.”
Also, the board took a recommendation from the Parents Accountability Committee and denied a charter school application from Flatirons Academy Charter School. The Meeker School Board recently rejected a charter school application by Flatirons Academy.