October 2003

Dolores school district seeks OK for $3.5 million bond

By Jennie Akers

With an average increase of 30 students each year since 1993, the Dolores School District Re-4A has proposed a bond issue for the November ballot in hopes of raising the funds to expand the facilities at the Central Avenue campus.

“This past year, the 2002-2003 student enrollment has increased by 24 percent and future projections and trends indicate that the district student population will continue to grow,” states the Re-4A Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan.

The aim of the bond is to raise $3.5 million to upgrade and improve the Dolores school buildings. The proposal would raise local property taxes by 6.675 mills.

If your residential property had a market value of $100,000, your annual tax would increase by $53.14. Commercial properties with a market value of $100,000 would see their annual property taxes increase by $193.59 under the proposal.

The master plan includes an expansion and renovation of the Science/ VoAg Building. The science building is now over 30 years old and needs an upgrade to address health and safety issues. The bond would finance the improvement of four science labs and two math and science classrooms.The upgrade would also provide two additional classrooms in the middle school.

The construction of additional locker rooms is also in the master plan. Currently, because of space limitations, the high-school and middle-school students share one locker room. More than 400 students share this space, which was originally built for half that number of students.

Health and safety have become issues under these conditions. The school administrators would like to have separate facilities for the middle-school and high-school students for discipline and management purposes. The new locker rooms would be attached to the auxiliary gym and include dressing areas, rest rooms, and showers.

The construction of three additional high-school classrooms is also slated as part of the bond-funded improvements. At present three temporary modular classrooms have been added to the campus. The school district would like to eventually replace these with permanent additions to the school building.

These three pieces - an upgrade of the science facilities, the construction of an additional locker room, and three high-school classrooms - could be completed if Bond Issue 3A passes.

The district is also seeking monies from its capital reserves and applying for state and federal capital-construction grants to build additional elementary-school classrooms, renovate the elementary school, renovate the football field, and build a preschool classroom.

Tina Goar, Dolores superintendent, is offering tours of the facility to any interested party to explain what is being planned.