Dear Aspen School District Community:
It’s been about 18 months since voters approved a $94.3 million bond measure to fund the district’s highest-priority capital needs, and just over a year since those funds were made available. of the district.
The district is excited about the progress being made, especially given the many benefits associated with these needed improvements:
● Attract and retain quality teachers and staff by providing expanded affordable housing options.
● Make our schools healthier, safer and more secure.
● Extend the useful life of our existing school buildings.
● Reduce costly and disruptive emergency repairs.
● Improve energy efficiency and sustainability.
● Respond to teaching space needs.
The following are detailed summaries of the types of capital improvement projects underway, the status of those improvements, and estimated costs:
Acquire and construct additional affordable housing for employees and upgrade existing units.
To date, over $13 million has been allocated for new housing acquisitions and subsequent improvements. An additional $700,000 was spent on upgrading and maintaining the existing housing stock. An additional $36 million from bond proceeds is budgeted for employee housing, which may include the construction of new housing.
Safety and security improvements.
Approximately $4.6 million is being invested in major district-wide safety and security upgrades this summer and fall. The upgrades will facilitate more informed and timely security decisions and help provide a safer learning environment.
Replacement of obsolete plumbing, HVAC systems and roofing.
To extend the useful life of existing facilities in the district, approximately $18.5 million is allocated for deferred maintenance projects. There will be a big push this summer to tackle many of these projects, with some of the first upgrades to include the Aspen District Theater and work on every building on the school district‘s campus.
Improve classrooms, science labs, libraries and performing arts spaces.
Minor renovations in each building will take place this summer and fall as the district works to update and improve teaching spaces. The work done for the remainder of 2022 will represent a partial expense of approximately $6 million, which will also be shared with the creation of flexible and adaptive learning environments.
Create flexible and adaptive learning environments.
Cuningham Architects is working closely with principals and staff to plan improvements to teaching spaces, including replacement of outdated furniture in each school, beginning in summer 2022. Approximately $933,000 is allocated for the furniture ordered for this year alone. Many classrooms will be positively affected by this investment.
Energy efficiency improvements.
As part of various sustainability initiatives, an active study to provide photovoltaic panels on the roofs of our buildings, on parking areas and in open spaces is underway. That work could begin as early as this fall with ongoing improvements installed through 2023. The district has purchased four electric buses and new charging stations at the bus barn. Thanks to a grant from AltFuels Colorado, a partnership between the Colorado Bureau of Energy and the Regional Air Quality Council, approximately 87% of the cost of buses and charging stations will be reimbursed. This will help further stretch the bond proceeds.
Meet the needs for teaching space in the kindergarten.
The district and its partners could never have predicted how much construction costs would rise due to supply chain issues and other factors. As a result, the district had to make tough choices about what to cut. One project that has been put on hold is the complete reconstruction of Cottage Nursery School. In the meantime, the district will work to identify funding solutions to deliver on the promise of a new early childhood education center.
The District is committed to continuing to provide project updates and answering any questions you may have regarding the 2020 Bonds Project.s. We appreciate your continued interest and support as we work together to provide our students with the best possible learning environments.
Dr. David Baugh
superintendent of schools
Chair, Board of Education