January 5, 2015
Board of Education
Jeffco Public Schools
1829 Denver West Drive #27
Golden, CO 80401
Dear Members of the Board of Education:
As members of the Capital Asset Advisory Committee, we are asking for prompt action by the Board or Education to initiate the construction of new facilities across the district to accommodate enrollment and program growth. Schools in three Jeffco areas are currently experiencing enrollment pressure. For schools in the Lakewood eastern corridor, the district Facilities and Educational Services are in discussions on how to use existing school capacity to better meet the needs of this community.
For the north highway 93 corridor and west Lakewood areas, some schools are already over 100% capacity. Based on enrollment estimates and construction activity, at least 7,200 more students are expected to enroll within 10 years in these neighborhoods. Schools in these areas are already using temp buildings; to the extent the sites can accommodate them. New solutions may need to be implemented as soon as the start of the 2016 school year. These could include reinstating choice-in limits, ripple bussing, 4-track school year, more 5 6-8 middle schools, and removing preschools from elementary schools. New construction is needed now, to have buildings in place when the possible solutions above are no longer enough to meet the growing enrollment. Recommendations include the construction of a K-8 school at the Table Rock Mesa site (800 students initially), the completion of the Phase II classroom addition to Sierra Elementary School (250 more students), and a new K-6 school to serve the Rooney Valley area (500 students initially). The two new schools would each have the design option to add classrooms when they are full, to help support enrollment growth.
In addition to this growing enrollment impacting our classroom space, the south Jeffco area district athletic facilities are unable to adequately support the number of sports and activities offered compared to number of participating students. We also recommend the construction of the South Area Athletic Complex to allow students to fully participate, and to alleviate over use of our existing facilities, and the inability to fully host or support the athletics and activities in these communities
The Committee recommends the starting of design work, establishing a financing mechanism and contractor selection begin immediately. Some construction plans are already “on the shelf” and ready for implementation. We also support financing these four construction projects using certificates of participation as the funding vehicle. We think this is the best approach to finance these necessary projects’ construction expediently, and to take advantage of the current market environment, to the benefit of the district tax payers.
The Capital Asset Advisory Committee strongly encourages the Board of Education to take action now to begin the financing and construction process to implement all four of these solutions. We recognize these are only initial steps to meet the district needs over the next few years. These are prudent projects to add necessary student capacity, protect our existing schools and facilities from over use and the associated maintenance costs, and maintain the overall quality of the Jeffco residents’ investment in schools and education.
The Capital Asset Advisory Committee Board members,
Gordon Calahan, Owner, Calahan Construction
Kathy Hodgson, City Manager, City of Lakewood
Phillip Infelise, National Director – Project & Facility Management,
Cresa Marv Kay, former mayor of Golden/Professor Emeritus at Colorado School of Mines
Tom Murray, President, Summit Brick & Tile
Bret Poole, Commercial Real Estate Appraiser, Alpine Bank
Vicki Ray, Owner, Wild About Plants Landscaping
M.L. Richardson, Regional Manager, Asphalt Paving Company
Dawn Williams, Business Analyst, ING Security Life