School Hears Upbeat Report on Bond Campaign

In a season peppered with new facility planning, input meetings and back to school events, Hinsdale School Board met Thursday, September 20. Joining schools board directors Phil Virden, Tara Hardy, Rob Hudgeons, Camille Richard and Bill Reinhardt was Superintendent Rebecca Hall.
Erin Cavit gave an upbeat report on Community Communications Committee activities, noting, “the group is meeting weekly to get the word out on the election.” She reported that they have 50 yard signs out supporting the new school bond initiative 4A with another 50 on order.
Also being distributed are 8.5”x11” signage. In order for the bond issue to pass, Cavit said “355 yes votes are needed if everybody who can vote votes.” The committee is continuing to develop mailers with facts on the new bond, together with answers to commonly asked questions, for easy distribution.
Cavit reported that the committee’s bake sale booth at Uncorked Wine & Music Festival raised $400 toward campaign expenses. The group plans to sell pretzels at this Saturday’s Oktoberfest in the town park. Cavit described campaign efforts with their Facebook page, “BEST School Now,” and additional ads in SILVER WORLD between now and the election to promote the nearly $4-million bond.
It was announced that Carol Murphy, who is moving from Lake City and stepping down from her post as head of the accountability committee, will be replaced by Jacqui Wonnacott. The next meeting of the accountability committee is October 18 at 3 p.m.
Student Representative Bennett Levine gave the school board a report on student activities. Included on his list were an upcoming Colorado High School Activities Assoc. leadership conference October 11-13, the September 28 home cross-country event, September 29 fundraising car wash, and a pumpkin carving contest to help fund this fall’s Halloween-themed Homecoming. Levine noted that at this time no firm date had been set for Homecoming festivities.
Approximately ten Ultimate Frisbee participants are traveling to their first tournament in Denver, October 5-6. The new sport is being overseen by faculty members Emily Motsinger, who was a frisbee athlete in college, and Coach Dan Scroggins.
In conclusion, Levine stateed that there would be no Student Council elections this year, as the
positions are not contested. Colton Wonnacott is
Student Council President, Jacee Lawrence as Vice President, Claire Cunningham, Treasurer, and Bennett Levine, Secretary.
Rob Hudgeons gave an updated report on increased new school security hardware which has changed somewhat since his previous report at a workshop earlier this month. Colorado Doorways, Inc., which is one of only two school security hardware sources, clarified some misunderstanding from the previous report. “For the fully loaded, electric card swipe with a key pin or swipe, the combined cost of both interior and exterior doors is $24,239.” The board had budgeted $25,000 for this expense which will be transferable to the new facility. According to Hudgeons, the new system can be implemented by Colorado Doorways’technicians in a matter of a few days.
Superintendent Hall presented a brief video on the Raptor security system. “It is not in our budget right now,” she said, but something to move toward in the future. Interested individuals may view the high-tech visitor vetting program at
As promised at their previous meeting, Tara Hardy had contacted the new school in Creede which utilizes the Raptor system. Hardy reported, “there is an initial set up cost. Keira, over in Creede, said there were very few glitches. All the problems she had were because her computer couldn’t update.”
According to Hardy, Creede has chosen to utilize the sex offender component of the driver’s license checking technology. The Raptor tracking system also “checks students in or out when they come and go at non-regular times. There is an initial set up fee of about $2,000 and an annual fee thereafter of $540.”
Hall recommended the issue “be put on to the security committee for future reference.”
Details on the school district’s Gunnison Avenue residential unit, Happy House, were discussed following news the current tenant is moving out of the school-owned rental property on November 1. Plans for deck repair and widening the doorway to meet ADA regulations were discussed.
Tara Hardy reported that the school did not receive the hoped for Colorado Health Foundation grant. “It didn’t pass the first round. They said that they don’t fund school gymnasiums, even though the person I was dealing with on this really supported and encouraged me to put in for it and said they would really advocate for it.” Hardy said their only commentary on the failed grant was, “They said they don’t want to set a precedent.”
Moving on from this initial disappointment drumming up additional facility funding, Hardy said that a site visit was planned Thursday morning, September 27, with representatives from the Buell Foundation. Hardy has been busy gathering cost estimate figures for the Buell Foundation illustrating what it will cost to move the preschool into the main building.
“There are several other grant opportunities in the hopper,” added Hardy, “and some others to start on, once the bond is passed, such as the Gates Foundation.”
Further evidence of a unified drive to search out additional grant funding to apply to the proposed facility was demonstrated by School Board President Phil Virden. He reported attending the Rural Philanthropy Days in Cortez, Colorado, at his own expense. “It is key, I think, to build relationships with all these funders. They like to see commitment and follow through. There is no guarantee,” he said hopefully, “but it looks promising for getting future grants.”
Board Member Bill Reinhardt offered congratulations to Hall for receiving her Principal licensure. Hall accepted the accolades but noted that the accompanying test was yet to come.
School directors have scheduled a workshop October 11 and their regular meeting is slated for October 25 at 5:30 p.m.