The Montezuma-Cortez school district has completed phase 1 of demolishing the retired high school, and is awaiting state approval to begin phase 2, according to an update from a district representative.
Jim Ketter, District Re-1 owner’s representative, presented the update at Tuesday’s school board meeting.
“If you recall, we broke the project into two pieces so that we could take advantage of a cash grant from (Colorado Department of Education),” Ketter said. “Phase 1 work is now complete on both the abatement and the demolition side.”
Ketter outlined some of the work done by crews during phase 1.
“Phase 1 of the abatement side included the removal of asbestos material such as popcorn ceiling or drywall, floor tiles, some pipe fittings and things like that, mercury gym floor and other universal wastes,” Ketter said.
Ketter couldn’t give a clear timeline of phase 2.
“Phase 2 work is pending right now,” Ketter said. “The team has submitted a draft plan to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for a controlled demolition, so that was submitted just about a month ago. They are reviewing that plan.”
In addition to the two grants from CDE for the project, Ketter’s team is looking into more grant opportunities.
“Until that plan is approved, we don’t know exactly what that plan is going to look like or cost yet, but I can say in terms of budget, the vast majority of the cost to date has been paid by the two CDE grants, the original lease purchase grant and the supplemental cash grant,” Ketter said. “Moving forward, we are going to look for other grant opportunities to supplement the district.”
District officials briefly ordered demolition work to stop on June 15 after a letter raised concern about a deposit debris from the demolition on a private property on County Road G. The order was lifted June 19 after demolition contractor Iron Mountain, of Colorado Springs, agreed to transport all demolition debris to the Montezuma County Landfill or another site approved by both the city of Cortez and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, according to Ketter.
“We continue to make progress on the demolition of the old high school. The team clearly understands the directive we got from the board, which is to demolish the building in a safe manner as quickly as possible, but also in the most cost-effective manner possible for the taxpayers.”