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Grand Lake Elementary in need of repair, improvement

KATIE LOOBY
klooby@grandcountynews.com
Grand Lake, Colorado

For $110,000, the Grand Lake Elementary Parent Advisory Committee tells the East Grand School District it can get a lot of bang for its buck.

Chris Tarr, secretary of the parent advisory committee, gave a presentation to the Board of Education last week showing potential grounds improvements to the school.

“We firmly believe that given a commitment of 50 percent from the school district, the remaining 50 percent can be raised through alternate fund sources,” Tarr said.



Improvements are split into four categories.

The “Perimeter Security and Improvement” would repair and complete a fence surrounding the Grand Lake Elementary playground and ball fields. It would also clear “dangerous” and “unsightly” debris within the area. This project would cost between $7,600 and $11,900.



The second project, general landscaping, would cleanup the appearance of the school’s grounds through general landscaping and grounds equipment repair. New trees also would be planted. The estimated cost is between $7,650 and $11,300.

The third project, playground repair and refurbishment, would cost between $93,345 and $95,645 to improve the playground and improve safety. The committee asked Grand Lake staff members to complete a survey rating the playground equipment. Recommendations are to remove four pieces of equipment, move another four pieces, and repair half a dozen pieces, Tarr said.

“This fourth project is very conceptual,” he said. “This is really forward looking.”

The fourth project, the entry corridor and pavilion project, would enhance the entryway to Grand Lake Elementary to deliver a “welcoming and functioning image to the community.” An outdoor pavilion could be added for outdoor education and events. The price tag is between $74,500 and $122,500, according to proposal documents.

“To make the front of the school a little more up to date,” Tarr said. “A little more welcoming. It has that kind of ’80s feel to it, it’s somewhat utilitarian. So, is there something we can do to compliment the staff and their energized interest this year to welcome the community and parent and make the school kind of a more open environment?”

The combined cost for the entire projects is between $180,000 and $240,000. The committee said a substantial portion of the cost could be funded through grants, foundations, fundraising, and partnerships with the town and county. However, none of the sources will commit until a commitment is made by the school district, Tarr said.

The committee is asking the board for $110,000 over the next two fiscal years, and for feedback on the projects by the next school board meeting, Oct. 21.

In addition, Grand Lake Elementary hopes to receive funding from DoLA, Colorado Department of Local Affairs; GOCO, Great Outdoors Colorado; Playful City USA, or the Grand Foundation.

“The (grounds) need work ” from broken fences to rusted garbage piles; from fields of weeds to broken and rusted playground equipment; from unsafe groundcover to outdated and rotting entryways,” the proposal summary states. “We need capital investment in Grand Lake Elementary not only to improve safety and function, but the image of the school.”

Tarr used to be a second homeowner, but now lives in Grand County full time. He said if the school was more appealing to second homeowners, they also might send their children to the school district.

“You have to convince people to live here if you want to grow,” he said.

After the meeting, Tarr said it’s pretty obvious the school needs work.

“You just drive up to the school. You form an opinion real quick,” he said. “It’s pretty obvious ” you don’t have to think to hard about it.”

He asked Scott Munn, principal of Munn Architecture, to draw up what the school could look like.

“He just wowed everyone,” Tarr said.

Tarr said the commitment from the district could transform the school. “It’s a pretty good use of money in my book.”

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


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