URGED talks new school for Del Norte

MONTE VISTA—Upper Rio Grande Economic Development (URGED) opened their October meeting last Tuesday with a small presentation from Del Norte School Superintendent Chris Burr and School Board President Neal Walters. They wanted to update the council on the BEST project and bond issue scheduled for the November ballot. Current Vice President Tom Slade welcomed the two school representatives and gave them the floor after a brief introduction to fellow council members.
Burr took the floor and thanked the council for allowing him to speak on behalf of the Del Norte School District. Burr and a bond issue committee consisting of several local residents and school board members have been working to see that the ballot measure 3A is passed during the coming election. 3A will be on the ticket for voters in the Del Norte and South Fork area, asking voters to fund 40 percent of the cost of a new kindergarten through 12th grade school with a 20-year bond.
According to Burr, the proposed campus for the new school would be located east of the high school football field and would house all grades in one location. This would enable parents to drop all of their students off in one area creating a safe, efficient and accessible school for the Del Norte area. “One thing we want people to consider is that this is the only school in our area. We have students from South Fork all the way down to just outside Monte Vista in our district, and this would be a wonderful opportunity for all of them,” said Walters.
Burr continued, stating that in addition to the one location, students, teachers and staff would be able to stay on campus for all of their needs throughout the day. Whereas it is now, many students have to walk between buildings and other locations for classes and lunch. The new school would house everything from the school library and cafeteria as well as all the necessary classrooms. The new school would also be energy-efficient, bringing down the cost of utilities and heating to a bare minimum, unlike the schools now.
Burr finished by stating that he wanted URGED to know that the buildings from the old school are being repurposed as much as possible. “I had to budget for demolition, but we are reaching out to area organizations that could potentially repurpose the buildings and buy them from the school to raise additional funding. We already have two letters of interest from both the Del Norte Fire Department, who is interested in the field house and the Del Norte Head Start, who has shown interest in the Mesa building where the kindergarten through second grade students are going to school.
The council thanked Burr and Walters for the update who responded with a plea for the council’s support in passing measure 3A. “This is a huge opportunity for Del Norte, and we would really appreciate your support in passing the bond,” finished Burr.

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