The Colorado Department of Education BEST grant board on May 18 recommended granting the district $19.79 million for the project, which has a total price tag of about $25 million. The state board had the final say, and approved the BEST board’s recommendations on June 15.
The district will seek an additional $5 million for the project through a bond issue that Mancos residents will vote on in November. The district hopes to start the two-year construction project in spring 2018, according to Superintendent Brian Hanson.
Hanson said he was very happy the project was approved.
“It really is phenomenal,” he said.
School board President Blake Mitchell said at first the BEST board was not going to approve the Mancos project. But the board was able to move some money around to fund the Mancos project, Mitchell said.
“I feel fortunate that we were able to succeed,” Mitchell said.
Board member Monty Guiles said attending the BEST board meeting and learning about other projects showed him that lots of districts across the state have critical needs. Board member Pam Coppinger added that the BEST board activity was extraordinary.
“I was impressed with the board,” Coppinger said.
Also at the meeting, the board welcomed Elementary School Principal Cathy Epps. She returned to work this month after recovering from severe injuries in a January car crash.
Epps thanked the board and administrators for all the support during her recovery.
“I’m thrilled to be back,” she said.
Also at the meeting, the board approved on first reading updates to several district policies, including policies regulating a bank of sick leave days for staff members, a closed campus during school days, a policy allowing the district to consider admitting students who do not reside in the district, a student absence and excuses policy and a student drug and alcohol involvement policy.
The update to the drug and alcohol policy allows the district to administer a drug test if there is reasonable suspicion that a student is under the influence of a controlled substance. A student or parent’s refusal to take the test will be treated as a positive test, according to the policy.
Board members also voted to accept the retirement of district Transportation Director Wes Sheek and the resignation of assistant high school boys basketball coach Ben Lykins.