How will schools respond?
Dear Editor:(This letter was originally addressed to Diana Sirko, Aspen School District superintendent.)For over a decade Aspen’s community has worked to achieve small class sizes and one community campus where all grade levels are located close to the softball, baseball, soccer, football, volleyball, track and field, and cross-country fields, the recreation center and ski/snowboard club.I read in The Aspen Times (Feb. 10) the Aspen School District may be forced to eliminate four full-time staff positions in order to reduce a nearly $1 million deficit.On Dec. 6, 2004, I asked the school board how the district was going to handle the expected enormous increase in enrollment from the following:• A pending annexation and rezoning of a parcel of agricultural land known as the Bar/X Ranch to potentially 236 units with bedroom capacity of 800-plus; free-market housing of potentially 35 homes with 90-plus beds;• A Snowmass Base Village – potentially 100,000 square feet of affordable housing with over 700 new employees;• Pending affordable housing at Snowmass rodeo grounds – potentially 30 homes with 2-plus bedrooms;• Aspen’s approved affordable housing, unoccupied at Obermeyer, Little Nell, Dancing Bear, Hyatt Hotel, Burlingame Parcel D;• Pending affordable housing for Shadow Mountain, Smuggler Mountain, Aspen Sanitation District, Lift 1A area;• County’s approved, unoccupied affordable housing at Stillwater, W/J ranch;• County’s approved, unoccupied free-market housing at W/J; and• Snowmass’ growing family communities in Crossings, Mountain View and Club Commons.Is the school district prepared to handle these new students?Will the district build more schools on-site (parking lot); build more schools in Snowmass, Woody Creek, Burlingame Village; increase class size; kick the small number of out-of-district students back downvalley?How will the school district pay for these additional construction costs and education costs when the time arrives?Thank you for your attention to this growing concern. I hope to receive a reply soon.Toni KronbergAspen
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