‘Westside has a lot to gain’
D-11 happy with bond-issue election win

       Thanks to voters providing spending authorization in the Nov. 1 election, District 11 could begin construction as early as next spring on projects in its $131.7 million buildings bond issue, according to Glenn Gustafson, chief financial officer.
       “We're very happy with the vote,” he said. “The Westside has a lot to gain out of that. It has some of our oldest facilities and some of our greatest maintenance needs, and now we're going to bring it all together.”
       The Westside share, totaling $16.7 million, includes big-ticket items such as a new Coronado High auditorium and air- conditioning at 5 of the 13 schools, as well as a multitude of repairs/replacements of equipment, utilities and furnishings that are well beyond their original service lives. (A full list of these items and their costs appeared in the Oct. 27 Westside Pioneer.)
       An exact schedule for the work still needs approval from the D-11 Board of Education, but under federal rules for tax-exempt bonds, 85 percent of the work must be scheduled within three years, Gustafson said.
       One high-priority Westside project has been identified at Bristol Elementary, where fire safety is to be improved by installing permanent walls. That work is tentatively scheduled for next summer.
       The bonds had been approved by voters in 2004, but voters at that time rejected lifting the mill-levy cap to free up the money. In this election, voters approved lifting the cap. The cost is estimated at $2 per month in property taxes for a house valued at $150,000.
       In other election news, Mike Kazmierski, one of the leading local advocates of the Referenda C and D tax measures, told the Pioneer that even though C won, the loss by D means “certain delay” for the $50 million Cimarron/I-25 interchange that was informally slated to be built with D money. Project money available from C is expected to be used on the higher-priority Highway 16 access to Fort Carson, Kazmierski said.

Westside Pioneer article