Facility Planning Tops Purview for School Directors

In the march toward the November 6, 2018, election when Hinsdale County voters decide whether or not to fund the nearly $4-million bond issue needed to provide the match for the BEST Grant, school board members are increasingly focused on facility planning.
Hinsdale County School Board met in the school library Tuesday evening September 6 for a regularly scheduled workshop with that looming November ballot initiative interwoven into normal school discussion points. Attending the meeting were Superintendent Rebecca Hall, Phil Virden, Tara Hardy, Rob Hudgeons, Camille Richard and Bill Reinhardt. It was noted that Brian Calhoun will be returning Monday, September 17. The RTA architect hired to helm the proposed new school facility will address staff and faculty members for a lengthy, working lunch presentation and information gathering session during the Lake City Community School off day.
The following evening, Tuesday, September 18, at 5:30 p.m., Calhoun will be the featured speaker at a community input session. As the conceptual planning for the new school facility moves toward reality planning, Calhoun has consistently emphasized the importance of local community input, informational flow and participation in the strategic process.
Lake Citians are encouraged to attend the informational meeting, ask questions and comment on proposed plans.
Plans were discussed for the school board to attend the upcoming Colorado Association of School Boards’ (CASB) regional meeting at the Pavilion Center in Montrose on Wednesday, September 26. Also in the works is scheduling for board members to attend the December 6-9 CASB State Convention in Denver.
School Superintendent Rebecca Hall offered a brief report on the success of the recent “Parent Back to School Night” for elementary and pre-school grades. The introductory evening was held on Wednesday, August 29. Also outlined were plans for a similar “Parent’s Night” for Lake City Community School Middle and High School grades which was scheduled for Wednesday, September 12, at 5:45 p.m. immediately following the student council-sponsored BBQ Dinner at 5 p.m.
Board member Rob Hudgeons presented a comprehensive quote from Colorado Doorways, Inc. from Denver for new, more secure hardware for the school. The safety-related project has been in the works for some time and was proactively and amply budgeted.
Hudgeons noted that the new security measures would be transferable to the new facility should the bond issue pass in the next election. Three options with varying price points and levels of security were presented. The first, was a purely mechanical and Americans with Disabilities Act-approved system for $11,475. The second involves an electrical system where the entire school could be locked down, if needed, with the push of a button from the office.
This more technical option involves wiring, an IP address and onsite software training, and carries a $15,240 price tag.
The final option, with a $21.055 quote, is an electronic, full-card access for all exterior doors and entry points. The system monitors who and when specific card holders come and go. It was noted in the discussion that Ouray schools have moved to this option.
No decision was made on the security issue, although the board discussed pros and cons inherent to each system. Hall reminded the board that $25,000 was budgeted for this important expenditure. Tara Hardy stated, “If we have the money allotted, then we ought to get what we really want.”
Hudgeons reiterated, “Whatever we choose, it will transfer to the new building.”
Board member Hardy commented, “The new school in Creede has a system that also does background checks.” Indicating her preference for more stringent screening to protect student and faculty safety, Hardy described a process whereby any visitor or vendor must scan their driver’s license and an instantaneous background check comes back.
Nodding, School Board President Virden responded, “Several years ago the school in Bailey had an issue with a truck driver coming into the school….”
He didn’t finish the grim story, but added, “This program would have prevented that incident from happening. In this day and age, it is a concern.”
Virden asked Hardy, “This is definitely a change. Do you have a particular company to recommend [on that program]?
Hardy stated she would be happy to reach out to Creede and get the necessary information on what is labeled the “raptor system”.
Superintendent Hall emphasized she has seen the background check/ DL system for any school visitors in action in Longmont, Colorado. “I think it is a great option [to enable us] to be more open to the community.”
The next regularly scheduled Hinsdale County School Board meeting is at the school on Thursday, September 20, starting 5:30 p.m.