Old Silverthorne Elementary could be demolished | SummitDaily.com

Old Silverthorne Elementary could be demolished

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

SILVERTHORNE “Residents and local officials spoke in favor of demolishing the deteriorating Summit Education Center at a community meeting Thursday night.

“Because of the demolition price, we thought demolition would be better than a remodel,” Summit School Board member Erin Major said on behalf of her group assembled at the meeting.

People in attendance were divided into about six groups in which five to seven ” ranging from district faculty and government officials to alternative-program students and nearby residents ” discussed options for the 35,000-square-foot building and 10-acre property.

The meeting was held at the SEC building, which presently houses district alternative-education programs and a preschool.

Built in 1972, the building served for many years as Silverthorne Elementary before the school was relocated.

Although discussion at a previous board meeting had involved a potential demolition cost well in excess of $1 million, a report in Thursday’s agenda listed the price as $378,100 ” affordable through existing capital resources.

A 2004 estimate of remodeling ” which would include architectural, mechanical and electrical refurbishment, fire code-related improvements and more ” adjusted to today’s prices ran to nearly $3.5 million.

Summit School District assistant superintendent Karen Strakbein said the district would have to go to the voters ” perhaps through a mill-levy increase ” to afford the remodel.

The clock is ticking on this decision; the one on the wall at the meeting was dead.

“We’re starting to see hiccups,” said Woody Bates, school district-facilities manager. “We’re starting to see some of these systems start to fail.”

Chris Guarino, of ARC Integrated Program Management ” which has managed district building projects ” said the remodel would be “just a finger in the dam.”

And it would be tough to tackle the improvements in piecemeal.

“Once you touch it, this building’s coming up to code,” he said, referring to a full slate of regulations that would have to be met if even one system was refurbished.

As for the future of the site, participants discussed a range of ideas, including a possible community center, day care, community health clinic, or even a campus offering services for students from kindergarten to a vocational school.

School district board member Erin Young said the property offers easy access to trails and areas of wildlife viewing and could make for a nice district-sponsored science school site.

Shelby Pedersen, a junior at ALTAS ” the district’s alternative program ” said she’d like the site to better accommodate the needs of alternative students. Electives such as art and science have few resources readily available at the SEC building.

Strakbein said district staff are looking into relocating the present SEC programs when present facilities become unusable.

Sample construction costs provided in a packet at the meeting ranged from $2.5 million to accommodate 70 students to $15.2 million to accommodate 450 students.

The SEC work group ” a nine-member group including Silverthorne Town Council members and district staff, faculty and board members ” is to draw a conclusion from the meeting’s results and present it to the board April 7.

Community feedback is encouraged. For more information regarding the SEC building, and for documents used in Thursday’s discussion, visit http://summit.k12.co.us/

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or rallen@summitdaily.com.

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