The Thompson School District received a BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) grant for the conversion of Conrad Ball Middle School to a kindergarten through an eighth grade campus.
The money was paid by the Colorado Treasury and is in the Thompson School District bank account, according to a press release from the Colorado Treasury.
It’s a sign that the project launched earlier this year to merge three schools, including Conrad Ball and two elementary schools, into one campus is going according to plan, according to district operations director Todd Piccone.
âAll funds go to the bank,â Piccone said Friday.
BEST grants are funded from a combination of sources, including excise taxes on marijuana, Colorado lottery proceeds, and state land trust funds that are capitalized through rental income, rentals. mining rights and the sale of timber from public school lands.
The money can be used for any capital expenditure and is distributed to Colorado school districts through a competitive application process.
The $ 5.2 million grant Thompson received will fund a renovation and expansion that is slated to begin in the summer of 2022 and is expected to end by the fall semester of 2023. Upon completion, Mary’s elementary school students Blair Elementary and Monroe Elementary will begin attending school at the newly expanded Conrad Ball, which will serve preschoolers on the eighth-grade campus.
Mary Blair Elementary will serve as the as yet undefined community center and will remain the property of the district. Efforts are underway to identify a partner to develop a new use for the facility. Monroe will be sold.
The $ 17 million of upgrades include classroom additions, air conditioning and interior upgrades, according to Piccone, and will be funded by a combination of the BEST grant and money from the district bond issue. in 2018.
âThe BEST grant received will help transform the student experience at Conrad Ball Middle School,â said Thompson Superintendent Marc Schaffer. âThis grant will revitalize a building and community in which students will grow and excel for decades to come. Ultimately, we will provide a safe and welcoming environment that the entire student body and community can be proud of. “
Thompson and other school districts that received their BEST grant funds this week were known to be rural and suburban, according to the state.
One of the other districts to officially receive funding this week was the neighboring RE-5J school district serving Johnstown and Milliken.
This district received $ 19 million in BEST grants to help convert its high school into a college, while planning to build a new high school using bonds approved for the district several years ago.
âWe’re booming at all levels of the building,â said Michael Wailes, president of the Johnstown-Milliken School Board. The neighborhood wasn’t big enough to need two high schools, but the building was still in good repair, he said, and the neighborhood needed more room for middle school kids.
Fowler, Huerfano, Julesburg and Rocky Ford also received grants paid this week.