June 20, 2021 - In the spring of 2018, Fowler School District began the process of creating a Master Facilities Plan. This process included employing a consulting firm to conduct a needs assessment and help prioritize repairs to the aging campus facilities. The resulting report identified a number of immediate needs district-wide, especially at the Junior/Senior High School. The total cost of the immediate needs at that time were nearly $30 Million which would require a funding source from outside the district. Following several Master Planning Assistance Team meetings, public surveys, and public outreach opportunities, the R4J Board of Education decided that the most cost-effective decision was to pursue a BEST Grant and Bond Election with the ultimate goal of replacing the existing Fowler Junior/Senior High School buildings. The new building would be connected to the existing Elementary School, essentially consolidating the instructional portions of the district into one campus. The replacement building would solve or eliminate all of the deficiencies identified during the Master Planning process.
In November 2019, the voters of Fowler School District approved a $4.9 Million Bond to be issued upon receipt of adequate funds to complete the project identified in the Master Plan. In February 2020, the District applied for a BEST Grant from the Capital Construction Assistance Board with the State of Colorado. The district’s grant application was not funded in the 2020 cycle. In the fall of 2020 the Board decided to pursue the next round of BEST Grant funding. In late May 2021, the Capital Construction Assistance Board recommended R4J’s project for funding through the ‘Lease-Purchase’ program! The recommendation has been approved by the Colorado State Board of Education and awaits funding approval by the Capital Development Committee. The state is awarding a grant for $ 31,958,947.38. The project has a total budget of $36,861,531, putting the local share at approximately 13% of the total cost!
The District is currently working with its Owner’s Representative, Diversified Consulting Solutions (DCS), Architectural firm RTA Architects, and the Colorado Department of Education on the beginning stages of the project. The current timeline is approximately 2 school years.
As summer ends and school starts, please watch for opportunities to gain additional information and provide input at public meetings! Since the grant was approved as a ‘Lease Purchase’ project, the state will sell the bonds as a part of their ‘Certificates of Participation’ program. As more clear information is provided regarding the sale of the district’s bonds, it will be shared with the public.
Everyone at Fowler Schools is very excited to get started on the project and appreciates all of the support to this point and looks forward to providing a generational solution with our new building! Additional information will be shared on the district’s website (www.fowler.k12.co.us) and Facebook pages!