The Thompson School Board approved spending of just over $ 3 million for facilities projects.
The Board of Education, by a unanimous vote on its agenda of consent and without discussion, approved an architectural contract for the design work of an addition to High Plains School, 4255 Buffalo Mountain Drive, and des contracts for roofing projects in four schools and the administration building.
The contract agrees to spend $ 1.1 million on design work to add eight classrooms, as well as a gymnasium, music room and possibly a track, to the existing High Plains School. The district chose RB + B Architects, based in Fort Collins, as the architect for the project.
Design work begins this month, and construction is expected to begin in early 2022, and new areas from Kindergarten to Grade 8 will open to students in August 2023.
School board agreed to spend $ 15.77 million to expand the school, which opened in 2016 and is already full, so it will be able to serve a total of 750 students, or three rounds of each grade level.
Gordon Jones, the district financial director, previously explained that the district will fund the project by selling certificates of participation, a form of debt that does not require a vote from residents, and to pay them back with the increase in tax that funds money that is set aside for Loveland Urban Renewal Authority and Centerra Metro District schools.
Through an agreement between these two entities and the Thompson School District, a portion of the property taxes collected by this additional tax funding goes into a school fund that can only be used for capital projects for schools located within the limits of authority. The only two schools within these boundaries are High Plains and Mountain View High School.
This pot of money is what the district uses to pay off the debt to build the high plains in the first place.
Since then, the income stream of this school fund has increased due to the increase in property tax rates approved by voters in 2018 through a bond issue and waiver of factory fees and growth in the area, Jones said. So there is more money in this school fund that needs to be spent on construction projects for these two schools only.
Both debts will be paid by 2029 when that source of funding ends, Jones said.
The school board also approved contracts worth just over $ 2 million for roofing projects that will begin in March and end by the end of the summer. This is the third phase of roofing projects funded through the $ 149 million bond that voters approved in 2018.
Over the past two summers, the district has spent nearly $ 10 million on roofing projects at 18 schools.
This third round of roofing projects totals $ 2,048,710, mostly coming from bond money, but also includes a Build Great Schools Today grant to stimulate work at Lincoln Elementary School. The BEST program offers competitive statewide grants from a fund that includes marijuana sales tax money.
The projects include three roof replacements – $ 1,158,353 for Lincoln Elementary School, $ 487,330 for the Administration Building and $ 221,307 for Ivy Stockwell Elementary School.
Roof restoration projects are planned for Laurene Edmondson Elementary School, $ 114,474, and Bill Reed Middle School, $ 67,246.