Local contractors, economy would benefit from work on new Silverthorne school | SummitDaily.com

Local contractors, economy would benefit from work on new Silverthorne school

Tom Miner, Division 7 LLC, Silverthorne

I attended the Silverthorne Town Council meeting Wednesday and was happy to see we are finally going to build a new Silverthorne elementary school. 

I went to elementary school at the existing school in the early 1980s. The school was a heap then, and apparently, 20-some years later, we all finally agree that a new school is needed.

I listened to the school board members talk about how this school is the largest municipal project to be built in Silverthorne this decade.

I read in the newspaper that this project had to be approved as soon as possible in order for the school district to put a mill levy vote on our next ballot. Let me get this right: I am paying for a school that will be breaking ground in a few weeks and as a local contractor, have never seen plans or been asked to bid this new school that I am paying for?

 I assume since ground-breaking ceremonies are planned that a general contractor has been selected. I assume this was negotiated without a public notice to solicit bids. Is this general contractor based in Summit County and spending his hard earned money in our community? Will this general contractor solicit bids from local contractors? Will this general contractor get more than one bid from subcontractors?

I forgot, in an Associated Builders and Contractors publication back on Jan. 16, Mike Arnold of the Summit School District solicited general contractor qualification. I guess if you don’t live in Grand Junction or subscribe to a Grand Junction organization, you might not have noticed this solicitation.

I remember when we built the last three schools built in Summit County. I remember the majority of the contractors were from areas outside of Summit County. I also recall that the school board cost taxpayers millions of dollars. I certainly hope the increase in our taxes doesn’t pay for change orders or mistakes made by general contractors and school board members. 

I feel comfortable this will not happen since we have planned so long on this project and researched everything so that problems do not occur.

The construction industry is slowing down, similar to the way it did in the late 1980s. Now more than ever, I think it is important to spend our tax dollars in our own community. Our governments have made it clear they are hurting financially. Will tax revenues from building this school, using local contractors and suppliers, help our economy? Maybe these tax dollars could stay in Summit County and help the residents of South Forty and Hamilton Creek get the park they have waited 18 years for.

If for some reason I have missed the plans for this school, could somebody let me know where to find a set so I can bid this project that is less than a mile from my house?

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