One of Vail Parent Network’s advocacy priorities has been the full restoration of funding previously provided by the state for classroom furniture and supplies, facility repairs, and, especially important to a growing community like Vail, new schools. While the state continues to fail to meet these funding obligations, our local legislators were able to secure money for VSD to build new schools. Planning is underway now for Vail’s next high school!
And it comes none too soon, as current high school enrollment is 4025 students. Optimal capacity at Vail high schools is 3916, and our population is expected to continue growing. The process of building a high school can take between three and five years, so we can expect our high schools to be tight for a few years.
A big decision our community needs to make is the kind of high school we want. Do we want another full-size school, like Cienega, with a wide spectrum of academic and athletic programs? Or would we prefer another niche school like Andrada? With about a third of our high school students participating in athletics and a growing need for a wide variety of academic programs, the sentiment of the community seems to be leaning toward a full-size school.
The dilemma is that the estimated cost of building a school the size of Cienega is over $80 million. The state, relying on out-of-date funding formulas, provided VSD with $22 million. The planning team will need to decide on a strategy to compensate for the difference.
In the meantime, if you are interested in having a say in the decisions regarding the new high school, please contact district administration to become part of the New High School Planning Committee. You can also, as always, speak with your elected school board members. To receive timely information about developments on this topic in the state legislature, please check in with us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/VPN.Education.Advocacy/