Message from Superintendent, Stephen Schiell



On behalf of the Montrose County School District I want to thank our communities for their support for the passing of Referendum 3A that will replace the old Columbine Middle School with a new Columbine Middle School! The enthusiasm of our community to make this goal come true was amazing.

Since the election there have been many planning meetings that have occurred. I want to bring you up to speed on what is happening.

1. The Architect has been selected. The Blythe Group from Grand Junction was selected. There wasn’t any firm from the Montrose and Olathe area that made a proposal. The local companies are too small to take on this project. The Blythe Group will have the following local companies as a part of their team: Del-Mont Consultants, Motley Architecture, and Wolverton Landscaping. Community members were a part of this selection team.

2. The General Contractor has been selected. FCI from Grand Junction was selected. Stryker Construction is collaborating with FCI. On Tuesday, January 17th FCI hosted a meeting for local contractors that might want to bid on specific portions of the project. Over 50 local contractors attended. If you were not there or didn’t know about this meeting please contact FCI. Community members were a part of this selection team.

3. Geo Technical Services will be done by Lamperts Geo Technical Engineering, a local Montrose company.

4. A community Design Team has been meeting working with the architects. This team is providing ideas, concepts, floor layouts, and program needs to the architects. Over 40 community members, students, teachers, Board Members, and administrators are participating in this group. They have already met six times.

5. The Architects have been meeting with the staff to get their direct input on the design process. These meetings are referred to as the User Groups.

6. Actual digging at the site will begin towards the end of May.

As the project moves forward there will be live presentations from the site via “Facebook Live”. Information will also appear on the districts Facebook page, Twitter, and District home page. The intent is to keep the community informed of what is happening throughout the project.

Once again I want to remind our community that with spring coming our students will be taking state tests. These are critical to our students and our school district. These tests provide critical information so that our students and parents know how they are achieving and growing as students. These tests are also helpful for our students to be accustomed to taking high stakes testing. It doesn’t matter if you are going to further education, military, vocational school, becoming an electrician, plumber, or a mechanic to name a few, our students will have to take a high stakes test, for nothing else this is good practice for our students. Taking a test for the first time with a job on the line is not a good idea.

The School Board believes in these tests. The State of Colorado has listened to the parents of the state and have made the tests a better tool to evaluate how our students are achieving. Our schools have a history of performing well when all of our students take the test together. Together the Montrose County School District will achieve these high expectations that we all want for our students.

Once again thank you for your continued support of your school district!

Stephen Schiell, Superintendent Montrose County School District

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