I recently spent two days in Golden, Colorado as the Colorado Department of Education’s Capital Construction Assistance Board (CCAB) reviewed and recommended Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Grant applications. It was quite a process, with almost 50 grant applications from school districts around the state. Clearly, there are high needs, with so many schools experiencing failing and outdated facilities.
Each school had two minutes to present their project to the CCAB, a very short amount of time to convince the board to recommend applications for BEST Grant funding. As I awaited our turn, over and over, I heard about the many needs of schools from around the state. When it was time to present Mountain Valley’s application and project, I focused our two minutes not only on the needs of our failing school, but on the needs of our students, families, and community. Mountain Valley School is the heart of our community, and we all know that a community loses its identity when it loses its school.
I am excited and proud to announce that the CCAB ranked Mountain Valley’s new school application, based on severity of needs, as the highest in the entire state. Mountain Valley was the top ranked application for a new school in Colorado. The CCAB will be recommending Mountain Valley’s new school project for a $27,072,252 BEST Grant. This twenty-seven million dollar grant will make a long lasting difference for our students, families, and our community.
Moving forward, our school district voters will be asked to pass a bond in November 2017 for a 12% match of the BEST Grant award. For twelve cents on the dollar, we will have a new facility at Mountain Valley that is a safe and secure twenty-first-century learning environment. Additionally, our new school will be high-performance and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certified. A high-performance building is energy efficient, has low short-term and long-term life-cycle costs, is healthy for its occupants, and has a relatively low impact on the environment. High-performance buildings use key resources such as energy, water, materials and land much more efficiently than buildings simply built to code or through a standard design process.
I want to thank the Mountain Valley community for their generous support of our school improvement efforts. I am so excited for the future of Mountain Valley School and its students! Together, we can make a difference in the lives of children!