Change in Budget Forces DPS to Consider New Designs for Stapleton High School

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADenver Public School officials met with members of the Stapleton community last Tuesday to discuss where things are at in regards to the high school being built in Stapleton. Pretty early into the discussion, officials let community members know that the project was a tad over budget. “Right now, I would say our shortfall is a little over $15 million,” said Scott Jackson, one of the DPS officials attending the meeting. “So, I guess, first things first, anyone have $15 million dollars?” Community members were outraged. “So, we passed a bond in 2012 to pay for this thing,” said Allie Miller. “And now, one month before groundbreaking, we find out we are $15 million short? How in the hell does that happen?” Miller was not the only person confused. “I own a construction company,” said community member Keith Heller. “I would like to know a lot more about your process. Of course, our company has had budget issues before, but you guys must have a significantly different process in regards to bidding out projects than the rest of the construction world.” DPS officials quickly attempted to deflect and diffuse the situation. “Before we get too far off track, we want to reign everyone back in,” said DPS official David Erickson. “What we want to do here today, is look at some other design options that we think will fit the needs of the community.” Erickson then dimmed the lights and began showing a brief slide show of some of the options. Options included some one-room school houses, rural schools fit for less than 500 students, and even a series of giant circus tents. “We feel that any of these options could be tweaked to fit perfectly with the needs of the Stapleton community,” said Erickson. “So, we want to schedule another meeting the day before the groundbreaking to go over the final plans. This concludes this meeting, and we are looking forward to your feedback at the March 31st meeting.” Community members were less than enthused about how the meeting went and the proposed next steps of DPS. “This was nuts,” said Victoria Bidler. “This is not a plan. Something needs to be done. They were just shoving new designs down our throats without asking for any real feedback.” Other community members agreed. “I knew the proposed design was not going to come out exactly as planned,” said Steve Moellering. “But, we went from 60 to 0 in 1 second here. There has to be something else that can be done.” If something is to be done, it needs to happen very, very quickly. ]]>

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