SAGUACHE — A Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant meeting to inform Saguache residents of the need to build a new school and the importance of appropriating the tax money necessary to do it brought more questions on why the school can’t just be remodeled.
About 30 people attended the meeting, Superintendent Travis Garoutte said Tuesday, but they were not the same people who attended the last meeting. Garoutte commented that he felt the attendees had a difficult time understanding why it wouldn’t cost less than a new school. But regardless of the cost, he pointed out, the bond costs for taxpayers to fund the project would be the same — $3.7 million.
The bond is granted as a special reduced waiver from the state to help taxpayers afford the school because the tax base in rural areas is much lower than metropolitan areas. A projected 2009 estimate of what it would take to renovate the existing school ran $16,619,975. The same estimate today would likely run much higher.
A new school will cost Saguache $30,796,951. So renovation conceivably could run about the same or more. The new school is millions less than projected costs for new schools in Del Norte and Deer Trail, also up for voter approval this November.
In an effort to better address concerns of Saguache residents regarding the project, Mountain Valley Schools is launching a new website to help explain the project in PowerPoint/slideshow terms.
The visuals at the website give viewers a clear idea of the structural problems the school is experiencing and the need to consolidate the MVS campus. Garoutte asked the public to bear with him while the website is completed.