‘I’m concerned for the safety of our students’

Posted 10/8/18

At Castle View High School, teachers don’t have permanent classrooms. Throughout the day, they move their materials to classrooms that are available. When the bell rings for the next class period, …

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‘I’m concerned for the safety of our students’

Posted

At Castle View High School, teachers don’t have permanent classrooms. Throughout the day, they move their materials to classrooms that are available.

When the bell rings for the next class period, 400 students have to leave the building and walk about 100 feet to a cluster of eight mobiles, which are temporary structures that hold two classrooms each.

The school in Castle Rock was designed for 1,890 students. The current enrollment is 2,254 students.

“It isn’t the age of the building,” said Rex Corr, the school’s principal. “It’s capacity and the inability to house more in an ever-growing community.”

Castle View is missing a wing that would provide an additional 25,000 square feet of space, or 23 classrooms. The project would cost the district $13.2 million, according to the district’s 2018 Master Capital Plan.

That money would be made available if taxpayers choose to pass a $250 million bond on the ballot this November. The bond would go toward the Douglas County School District’s urgent capital needs and new construction.

Building needs across neighborhood schools in Castle Rock look different. The region is home to two high schools: Douglas County High School, which is one of the district’s oldest schools, and Castle View, which opened in 2006. Two of the district’s middle schools and 11 elementary schools are in Castle Rock.

Douglas County High School opened in 1961. It needs $19 million to address aging infrastructure and aesthetics that impact the learning environment —25-year-old carpet, cracked tiles, water damage on the ceiling, broken handles on cabinets in the classrooms, uncovered light fixtures.

“I’m afraid if this bond does not pass,” Principal Tony Kappas said. “I’m concerned for the safety of our students in this building.”

Not far from Castle Rock, Sedalia Elementary School faces similar challenges. The 66-year-old school needs $3 million to catch up on building repairs. Sedalia Elementary and Cherry Valley Elementary in Franktown both opened in 1952 and are the district’s oldest schools.

The bathroom tile at Sedalia Elementary is 30 years old. Cracks in the kitchen floor harbor dirt and are a health concern, according to Rich Cosgrove, chief operations officer at the district. Every time there is a hard rain, water seeps under classroom doors on the east side of the building. Sometimes, the flooding forces teachers and students to move classrooms, said Jeff Johnson, the school’s principal.

Like other principals of local schools, Johnson is frustrated with the funding situation.

“We feel like we are plugging holes in a lot of different areas,” he said.

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