Aspen School District purchases Snowmass housing parcel |

Aspen School District purchases Snowmass housing parcel

Janet Urquhart
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The Aspen School District has purchased a $1.9 million property in Snowmass Village where it hopes to build housing for teachers.

The deal closed Monday, members of the School Board told Pitkin County commissioners during a joint meeting on Tuesday in Aspen.

Commissioners lauded the move, as it means the school district will put on a back burner its plan to build additional housing on its West Ranch property near Woody Creek. That property is not within any of the urban growth boundaries the county has drawn around its municipal centers and commissioners weren’t thrilled with the prospect of more housing there.

“I congratulate you,” said Commissioner Michael Owsley. “I deeply appreciate you looking at other areas.”

The district is hoping to build 18 to 20 units on the Snowmass Village parcel ” .87 acres formerly owned by the Snowmass Corp. The parcel is located on Owl Creek Road between Anderson Ranch Arts Center and the Fairway III Townhomes, also an employee housing project. Offices that currently exist on the site will be razed.

The asking price for the parcel was $2.3 million, said board member Laura Kornasiewicz.

The envisioned teacher housing project will be reviewed by Snowmass Village, but the district hopes to construct roughly 18,000 square feet of multi-family housing, Kornasiewicz said. The mix would be 10 percent three-bedroom units; the rest would be split between one- and two-bedroom units, she said.

The district hopes to erect units that are manufactured off-site and have them occupied by August 2010, Kornasiewicz said.

In addition, the district is adding three two-bedroom units at the Aspen Business Center to its pool of housing and a one-bedroom unit at Hunter Creek in Aspen. The purchase of a Basalt duplex containing a pair of two-bedroom units is also in the offing, she said.

All but the Hunter Creek condo allow pets, Kornasiewicz added. “That was huge for us,” she said.

The district already owned 22 housing units before the recent acquisitions, including 10 at West Ranch, where it does plan to build carports for the existing housing.

The district will choose the employees who occupy the new units in Snowmass and elsewhere. The length of time a staffer has been waiting for a unit and the difficulty the district has in filling a particular position are both considerations as it doles out housing, said Superintendent Diana Sirko.

District voters approved a referendum last November that allows the district to borrow up to $12 million to acquire teacher housing.

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