Steamboat Springs School District 2019 Ballot Measures 4A, 4B, and 4C
Election Day is Tuesday, November 5, 2019
On November 5, 2019, Steamboat Springs voters approved Steamboat Springs School District (SSSD) ballot measures 4A and 4B, while the results of issue 4C are too close to call.
“On behalf of our staff members, I would like to thank our community,” said SSSD superintendent Brad Meeks. “Your support of our educators and staff and the value you are placing on the work that they do is incredibly affirming for them. This salary increase will help our staff support themselves and their families in a community where the cost of living can be a barrier to continuing in the field of education.”
Ballot measure 4A, a $1.2 million mill levy override to increase teacher and staff compensation by an average of six percent, passed with a resounding 65 percent of the vote. Measure 4B, a $2.8 million mill levy override to fund the operation of expanded spaces in existing schools and a new PK–8 school, passed with 50.8 percent of the vote. Measure 4C, a $79.5 million, 20-year bond measure to fund investments in all existing SSSD schools and a new PK–8 school in Steamboat II, while too close to call, is ahead by 69 votes (50.49 percent).
We will provide an update as we receive more information from the Routt County Clerk and Recorder.
A practical plan to preserve our community’s commitment to exceptional education.
Following 15 consecutive years of in-district student enrollment growth, and an average 1.5% growth every year for the last 40 years, our schools are full right now. Professional demographic reports have concluded that our enrollment will continue to increase over the long-term. Groups that have studied SSSD facility challenges and solutions have come to the same conclusion: Our schools are full now and more students are coming. These groups have also presented similar visions: We must be prepared to serve our students in facilities and spaces that enhance learning.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 5
In compliance with the Fair Campaign Practices Act, the following statements in favor of and opposition to the ballot measures are included.
Those in favor of the ballot measures 4A, 4B, and 4C say: (1) The mill levy overrides and bond measure addresses very pressing needs in the district’s schools including capacity for growth, which is putting tremendous pressures on our schools. (2) The important educational investments address very real and urgent needs; they will ensure Steamboat students continue to receive a safe, innovative and quality education, which would otherwise be challenging, if not impossible, due to continually declining state funding. (3) The district has been a good steward of taxpayer monies and has stretched its continually shrinking state funds as far as it can to continue providing a quality education to its students.
Those against the ballot measures 4A, 4B, and 4C say: (1) With the passage of the mill levy overrides and bond measure, a taxpayer in the district could expect to pay less than $20 per month in property taxes for every $500,000 of residential value. For business owners, the tax burden will be higher. (2) SSSD could deal with current capacity issues and handle future growth without an additional school, by installing additional exterior classroom trailers and reducing space for outdoor activities, learning, and athletics. (3) Schools should be fully funded by the state, not by local property taxes.
Pros and cons can also be found here.
INVESTMENTS IN ALL STUDENTS & SCHOOLS PRESCHOOL–GRADE 12
$27 million of investments includes...
- Steamboat Springs HS: 9,000 SF CTE addition of 6 classrooms; minor renovation of classrooms ($6M)
- Steamboat Springs MS: 4,000 SF cafe addition; kitchen renovation; minor classroom renovation; fire drive loop; artificial turf and track ($5.8M)
- Soda Creek: 8,000 SF Classroom Addition; removal of modular classrooms; pk renovation; add PK play yard & parking ($5.3M)
- Strawberry Park: PK renovation; add PK play yard; 3,750 SF Addition to allow cafe & gym to be separated; kitchen renovation; grading & drainage improvements ($4.3M)
- Yampa Valley HS and Boys & Girls Club: Renovation of Yampa Valley HS space & restrooms; renovation of existing pk rooms for B&G club; security vestibule ($1.5M)
- North Routt: 5,900 square foot multi-purpose space and restroom addition ($4.1M)
- Other: Renewable energy
Design Advisory Groups will be formed to determine use of space and will meet after November election. Construction would begin in the spring of 2020.
ALLEVIATE OVERCROWDING WITH A NEW PK–8 SCHOOL AT STEAMBOAT II
- The new $52.5 million 70,000-80,000 SF school may open as early as the 2021-2022 school year and will serve students in preschool through grade 8*
- Total capacity increase PK-8: +520
- PK-5 ES: +350
- 6-8 MS: +170
- Grade configurations at the district’s current elementary schools and middle school will not change
- The PK–8 school will be the first new traditional school built since 1981 that will expand the district's capacity; it will provide additional spaces for programming and community use**
- We will have the flexibility to convert this school to a full middle school or elementary school in the future
*A construction schedule will be confirmed after November 2019. It is possible the school could open in January or August of 2022.**Soda Creek was a replacement school and did not expand the district's capacity
~$20 PER MONTH PER $500,000 IN RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY VALUE WILL ALLOW OUR COMMUNITY TO:
- Increase salaries for Steamboat Springs School District educators and staff
- Invest in every school
- Keep Steamboat Springs High School at its current location and add a 9,000 square foot addition to the building
- Move students and their teachers out of exterior modular trailers and back into their building at Soda Creek Elementary School
- Maintain small class sizes
- Expand contemporary program environments for multisensory and interactive learning
- Alleviate capacity now and build for the future with a new 520-capacity school for students in preschool–grade 8
Cost to taxpayers includes $1.2 million and $2.8 million mill levy override measures.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 5
In the 2018–2019 school year, we heard from nearly 1,000 people; over the past five years, we have heard from many, many more.
Your input was essential in moving our district toward permanent solutions for our facilities and programs that will allow us to preserve our community’s commitment to exceptional education.
- Our school district is the third highest performing school district in the state
- Steamboat Springs high school was recently ranked #27 out of 272 high schools in Colorado!
Click here for a list of past community engagement activities hosted by the district.
4A: Increasing salaries for Steamboat Springs School District educators and staff
A $1.2 million mill levy override initiative would increase teacher and staff compensation by an average of 6% to:
- Reflect the role of district teachers and staff in the success of our community's students and schools.
- Continue to retain, attract, and reward the best and brightest talent to serve our students.
- Ensure that our teachers and staff can support themselves and their families in a community ranked fourth highest in the state when it comes to cost of living.
Steamboat II: The future site of our new PK-8 school
Acres: 35.15 + potential additional 36
Jurisdiction: Routt County
School Permitting Authority: State
Water: City of Steamboat Springs or Metro District
Sewer: Metro District or Septic System
Traffic Infrastructure Required:
- Traffic signal at Highway 40 and CR42
- Northbound turn lane
- Westbound deceleration turn lane
The rendering above show possible placement of a PK-8 school. We will work with our Steamboat II neighbors to get input and feedback on the placement of the school. The school site will be developed to ensure the safety of our students and members of the public.
The Steamboat Springs School District will bring its preschool program back into its elementary schools as part of a potential 2019 bond initiative.
The SSSD preschool program will be moved from its current off-site location into the district's schools. It will be included at the district's new K-8 school at Steamboat II. Space will be renovated at Strawberry Park and Soda Creek elementary schools to include one section of preschool at each school to serve existing preschool students with the flexibility to add additional sections of preschool in the future.
Many districts throughout Colorado have preschools in their elementary schools, which minimizes transitions especially for students with special needs and their families. This was the case in Steamboat from 1987–1997.
Colorado preschool programs housed in public elementary schools are required to serve students with disabilities ages 3–5. Our program model serves students with special needs, Colorado Preschool Program (known as CPP) students, and general ed, tuition-based students learning together in the same classroom.
Thanks to our partners for providing support and guidance in the district's Master Planning process:
- ATMOS Energy
- City of Steamboat Springs
- Colorado Department of Transportation
- Colorado Parks & Wildlife
- Four Points Surveying and Engineering
- Haselden Construction
- Hord Coplan Macht Architecture
- Landmark Consultants
- McDowell Engineering
- Mount Werner Water
- Muntean Leadership Group
- National Research Center (NRC)
- NorthWest Colorado Consultants
- RSP Associates
- Routt County
- Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue
- Vitale & Associates
- Weecycle Environmental Services
- Yampa Valley Sustainability Council