Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA — With the election out of the way and the final documents signed, the new Alamosa High School sports complex and vocational agriculture project is quickly moving forward to meet a fall 2013 deadline.
Developing the vision
Sports complex and vocational agriculture building project supporters are presented with a new list of tasks, and they are tackling them with caution and open communication.
On Monday night, Alamosa High School teacher, coach and project leader Andy Lavier delivered a progress report to the Alamosa Board of Education during its regular meeting. He said the first project committee meeting was held last week, and those on board to make the sports complex and vocational agriculture building should treat the complex and building as separate entities to primarily avoid budget conflicts.
“We have plenty of help for the stadium, but for the ag shop, a separate committee would be good,” Lavier said. “It can help us to work together as one team with two good facilities.”
The mill levy dollars will break down accordingly, according to a GE Johnson Construction Company report: $3,075,000 will fund the track and field; bleachers; press box: a ticketing and concessions building; bathrooms; first aid office; an officials building and the “Walk to Glory,” a path from the school entrance to the complex. $580,000 will fund locker rooms and an athletic storage building and other dollars will be earmarked for roadwork, sports equipment and OMS facility upgrades.
The vo/ag building cost is under $1 million.
“We certainly don’t want hard feelings down the road,” said ABOE official Keith Vance, who attended the committee meeting.
Fellow ABOE official Christine Haslett added, “A large group working on two projects isn’t productive. You have to trust each other.”
Haslett also attended the meeting and mentioned it was full of input, lots of creative ideas being placed on the table and the district is already working with local companies including Sage Construction, La Jara, and Luchetti Land Surveys, Alamosa.
Alamosa Public Works Director Don Koskelin joined the project planners last week and told the Alamosa City Council during their Dec. 5 meeting about the committee’s initial thoughts.
“They are at the very early stages,” Koskelin said.
He said the school district is still talking about the project’s orientation and scope, and aiming to open for next year’s football season, which he said he was not sure was attainable.
Koskelin said he talked with the committee about the street improvements and the need for an on-street parking design. A larger issue, however, is the city’s zoning and development standards. In terms of streets, the standards are very vague and Koskelin said he is asking for a work session with the city planning commission to discuss the street development standards. He said he wanted to see that meeting held fairly soon because the standards could affect the school’s project.
The city council scheduled a work session with the planning commission on street improvements on Wednesday, Jan. 9.
The sports complex and vocational agriculture building committee plans to hold a teleconference with project affiliates this month and conduct an onsite visit in January.
The ABOE also approved the required documents to start collecting from Alamosa and Conejos County school district property owners the 14.8 mills, $1,798,549, needed for the 2013-2014 debt service. These mills are in addition to the Colorado School Finance Act’s required general fund mill levy: 27.2 mills, $3,316,760, consisting of a standard levy of 27 mills and 2.2 mills against the valuation of assessment of all taxable property located within the school district’s boundaries. The 2.2 mills represent the prior year abatement: $25,625, Alamosa County, and $202, Conejos County, according to school district budget documents presented at the meeting.
The assessed school district valuation is $121,885,927, according to school district budget documents. The calculations total 42 mills up for collection this year with $5,039,541 coming from Alamosa County and $75,753 coming from Conejos County.
Alamosa School District Superintendent Rob Alejo said the valuation is up $655,211 from 2011, increasing the abatement dollars more than $15,000 and the total tax collection more than $79,000.
In addition to the mill levies, the school district will collected $9,630,659 from the state, according to school district budget documents.
The school district’s October student count is the basis of the state’s payout. According the Colorado Department of Education funding summary, the school district is serving 1,993 students this school year, which is down 16 heads from 2012 and up 12 heads from 2011. When kindergarten students are factored into the budget equation, the school district is receiving funding for 2,091 students at $6,343.42 a head. The state’s adjusted share combined with tax revenues and ownership tax collections brings the school district’s budget to $13,261,561.55 for the 2012 - 2013 school year without factoring in additional monies like property sales and grant dollars.
Valley Courier Editor Ruth Heide contributed to this article.