Glenwood planner backs plan for high school |

Glenwood planner backs plan for high school

Ryan Graff
Glenwood Springs correspondent

Glenwood Springs city planner Andrew McGregor spoke in support of the Roaring Fork School District’s plans to rebuild Glenwood Springs High School at its current location Monday night.

McGregor didn’t directly advocate the district’s plan to buy residential and commercial properties near the school but said building the school where it stands now is a “sound idea.”

“I think they’re doing the right think keeping the building in town,” he said, and added that architects should think vertically.

McGregor spoke at a GSHS Design Advisory Group open house. The group consists of students, teachers, administrators, architects and community members.

The district’s plan to rebuild at the current GSHS site will avoid urban sprawl, and play well into the city’s land-use plan, he said.

One of the best investments a community can make is in educational facilities, he said. Like the expanded Valley View Hospital and Garfield County Jail, nice new buildings trigger reinvestment in the entire area, he said.

The district’s plan also works well with the city’s transportation plan and bus system, he said.

Though many students drive to school now, eventually, gas prices and increased traffic will convince students to take the city’s public transportation, he said.

“If I sound a little bit like a cheerleader it’s because I think that the community has been listening and the (Design Advisory Group) has been listening, and I think we have a real opportunity here,” he said.

McGregor was one of many speakers at the meeting.

Kathy Tully of the Capron Co., who is negotiating property deals for the district, also announced that there will be a Relocation Assistance Committee for businesses that will lose their lease to GSHS expansion.

Tully will present a final timeline for when the new properties will be purchased by the end of April, she said.

Many of the people who attended the open house spoke against the district’s plans to buy commercial and residential property for the GSHS expansion.

Many wanted to know why the district couldn’t simply build vertically to expand GSHS only by about 35,000 square feet.

Others expressed frustration at feeling the district invited them to attend meetings and give input on a decision that has already been made.

Shela Markowitz is opposed to the district taking True Value and has attended several previous meetings on the issue.

“Here I am again, talking and feeling like I’m wasting my time,” she said. “It’s pointless.”

Markowitz may have been wasting her time.

The district’s plan now and has been all along to buy commercial and residential property, said school board president Susan Hakanson.

The solution to GSHS space problems is to buy additional property, she said.

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