Mountain Valley School receives BEST grant

SAGUACHE — In his bi-monthly column Monday, Mountain Valley Superintendent Travis Garoutte announced that Mountain Valley School has received the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant for it’s proposed new school.
“I am excited and proud to announce the Colorado Department of Education’s Capital Construction Assistance Board (CCAB) will be recommending Mountain Valley’s new school project for a BEST Grant of $27,072,252,” Garoutte wrote. “This grant will make a long lasting difference for our students, families, and our community.”            
Established in 2008 with the signing of C.R.S.22-43.7, BEST provides an annual amount of funding, in the form of competitive grants, to school districts, charter schools, institute charter schools, boards of cooperative educational services and the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, according to the Colorado Department of Education website.  
BEST funds can be used for the construction of new schools as well as general construction and renovation of existing school facility systems and structures. In 2010, the board approved a $26.7 million new school grant for Center and a $27.6 grant for Monte Vista’s middle and high school.
Garoutte reports he spent two days in Golden last week with CCAB as they reviewed and recommended BEST grant applications. Almost 50 grant applications went before the board for review, he said, and needs owing to failing and outdated facilities are high.
“Each school had two minutes to present their project to the CCAB, a very short amount of time to convince the board to recommend applications for BEST Grant funding,” Garoutte wrote in his column. “As I awaited our turn, over and over, I heard about the many needs of schools from around the state.
“When it was time to present Mountain Valley’s application and project, I focused our two minutes not only on the needs of our failing school, but on the needs of our students, families, and community, he continued. “Mountain Valley School is the heart of our community, and we all know that a community loses its identity when it loses its school.”
Following the presentation, the CCAB ranked Mountain Valley’s new school application, based on severity of needs, as the highest in the entire state. Mountain Valley was the top-ranked application for a new school in Colorado.
Garoutte further noted that the new school will be high-performance and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certified.
“A high-performance building is energy efficient, has low short-term and long-term life-cycle costs, is healthy for its occupants, and has a relatively low impact on the environment. High-performance buildings use key resources such as energy, water, materials and land much more efficiently than buildings simply built to code or through a standard design process,” he explained.
In November, voters in the school district will be asked to pass a bond amounting to 12 cents on the dollar to apply as a matching grant for the project. Garoutte expressed his gratitude to the community for their generous support during the grant process.

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