Oak Grove and Montrose High School to Receive Upgrades
MONTROSE — Montrose County School District RE-1J was recently recommended for approval of a pair of grants from the Colorado Department of Education’s Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program to upgrade a pair of district schools.
The CDE has yet to officially approve the grants, according to Jason Arebalos, RE-1J’s director of property services. In total, the district is on track to receive $230,0000 to fix the roof of Oak Grove Elementary and install air conditioning on the first floor of Montrose High School.
Arebalos was part of a district delegation who travelled to Denver in May, seeking BEST funds for projects. To upgrade Oak Grove’s roof the district will receive $42,620; it will get $193,520 to install air conditioning at MHS.
The district will kick in $40,949 from its capital reserves for the Oak Grove project and will spend $185,938 towards MHS.
“I want to say there were 30 to 40 projects requested and only 20 that got requested for approval, and we’re part of that, so this is exciting,” Arebalos said.
The rubber roof over the old Oak Grove administration office was completed in 1973, according to Arebalos. In 2006, other remodels added newer roofs to the original 1903 school building. “The last 10 years have been pretty hard on it,”Arebalos said.
He said the district had put the job out to bid locally, but when bids came in higher than expected, the district decided to apply for a grant.
On the first floor – the oldest section of MHS – there has never been air conditioning, according to Arebalos.
The second floor of the school received air conditioning last year as part of an energy saving contact penned last summer. “They never had air conditioners,” Arebalos said of MHS classrooms.
The BEST fund was created in 2008 as a way to help with renovation and construction in Colorado schools. The fund contains monies from the Colorado lottery , marijuana taxes and state land trusts.