The state has awarded a grant to the East Otero School District for renovation of La Junta’s 40-year old primary school. The grant only covers 72 percent of the funds necessary to perform needed renovations and the district needs to come up with the remaining 28 percent of the required funds.
To that end, the district is asking voters to approve a $3.2 million bond issue that, according to Greg Kolomitz, will not only result in no new taxes but will actually result in voters seeing a decrease in their 2018 school mill levy. The bond issue consists of issuing a new bond for the primary school renovation and refunding the bond issued in 2008 for the new Tiger Stadium for significant interest savings.
Renovations to the primary school are required to address several issues.
- The roof leaks, creating costly water damage, disturbing existing asbestos, and encourages mold spores which can lead to sickness.
- The parking lot has to few parking spaces which have bus traffic routed through them and little space for pedestrian traffic.
- The playground is outdated and lacks handicap accessibility & security containment.
- The building interior has poor lighting & acoustics, outdated mechanical systems, poor air quality, and no dedicated rooms for music or art contributing to an ineffective educational environment.
- Classes are being held in modular buildings to the north of the school which have poor heating & cooling and cause safety issues traveling between them and the school.
- The gym and cafeteria area must accommodate both lunch tables and gym equipment. The area is too large for a lunch room and hard to supervise. The tables must be pushed to the other side of the room leaving a space too small and dangerous for physical education.
Source: La Junta Tribune Democrat