Granby " Indian Peaks Charter School requests more funding | SkyHiNews.com

Granby " Indian Peaks Charter School requests more funding

KATIE LOOBY
klooby@grandcountynews.com
Grand County, Colorado

Indian Peaks Charter School leaders Tuesday requested up to $94,000 of the $1 million of money-in-lieu of land earmarked for the East Grand School District.

Kim Hannah, the charter school’s board president, and Polly Gallagher, Indian Peaks principal, made the request at the East Grand School District meeting to augment Indian Peak’s current building project. The request will come back to the board as an action item in a future meeting.

Indian Peaks has requested $21,000 for a comprehensive fire alarm system. It also requests between $5,000 and $35,000 for installation of a fire hydrant closer to the facility.

Charter school officials estimate that an oven, refrigerator, and dishwasher will cost $15,000. This is to replace kitchen equipment from the charter school’s old building that it thought was being stored at the East Grand School District Office.

Indian Peaks also requested $12,000 for an add-on cost for decking, skirting and handrails that were not part of the original bid for the new school project.

Charter school officials said they were told that the site would be graded, according to a memo Hannah and Gallagher sent to Nancy Karas, East Grand School District superintendent, dated Nov. 13.

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Indian Peaks estimates that it will cost $10,000 to move a main electrical power line. The utility location is incomplete, documents state. Gallagher said this is for the digging, trenching, moving the line and putting it back.

It also is requesting $750 for a skeleton to replace a “fully articulated skeleton used as part of its third curriculum and considered to be an unofficial school Mascot, Mr. Bones,” documents said. Gallagher said the skeleton was also lost and that Indian Peaks has already paid all these bills except for the electric fund, the kitchen equipment, skeleton and hydrant.

“All of the equipment was brought into the district office, we thought for storage but certainly that wasn’t the case ” it got demolished,” Gallagher said about the kitchen equipment.

She said the Mrs. Fields oven had been paid for through grants and donations, and that they are trying to locate it but there’s a chance it was demolished as well.

“So what kind of equipment are you buying that’s going to cost $15,000?” asked board member Barbara Ahrens. “I can understand the need for the electrical and the fire hydrant, I think those are safety issues.”

Gallagher said it is commercial grade kitchen equipment. “We have incorporated cooking into our curriculum,” she said.

Board President Tom Sifers asked the board if it felt it had an obligation to cover the unpaid bills, since the original agreement was to provide up to $400,000 for the charter school project.

“This does speak to some poor planning,” board member Gale Delphia said.

The charter school said it did not have control over the construction process, and that East Grand School District had the district manage the Indian Peaks project until mid- August. By then it was too late for Indian Peaks to make any alterations to the items listed, or to make changes to the initial budget, the document states.

Board members were also upset about the tone of the letter sent to the district.

Karas said the way the letter was written it appeared the charter school has no gratitude for the work the district has done.

“This was uncalled for,” she said. “I have never been disrespectful to you or that charter school, but I have been disrespected.”

She said the charter school and district need to have an open, honest and professional relationship.

“I respect you; I always have,” Karas said. “You know I respect the charter school.”

An Indian Peaks Charter parent said it’s all about just trying to support the kids in the district.

Sifers expressed regret that the relationship between the two has taken a step backwards.

“I think we have made some real aggressive steps,” he said. “I don’t want to go backwards either. There is a need for the charter school. I don’t think any of us can deny that.”

” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or klooby@grandcountynews.com.

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