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12.9.2021: Treasurer Young Finalizes Transformational Education Grants to Rebuild, Repair, and Replace Schools in Rural and Suburban Districts

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For Immediate Release
December 9, 2021
Sheena Kadi
Communications Director & Public Information Officer

Treasurer Young Finalizes Transformational Education  Grants to Rebuild, Repair, and Replace Schools in Rural and Suburban Districts 
Treasurer Young Backed Financing to Help 22,000 students
Treasury refinancing saved Colorado taxpayers over $5 million in interest

TODAY - Denver, Colorado: Six school districts in rural and suburban communities across Colorado to help rebuild, repair, or replace K-12 schools, will be awarded funding through Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) State Treasurer Dave Young announced today. A total of 22,441 students and their families will be impacted by these capital improvements.

The six school districts and their approved capital projects include:

  • Fowler School District in Pueblo County: elementary, middle, and high school renovations 
  • Huerfano School District in Huerfano County: building a new high school
  • Johnstown-Milliken School District in Weld County: converting the high school to a middle school
  • Julesburg School District in Sedgwick County: building a new PK-12 school
  • Rocky Ford School District in Otero County: high school renovation and PK-8 addition
  • Thompson School District in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties: middle school renovation and K-5 addition to create K-8 school

“BEST was created to start addressing the most critical needs of Colorado’s K-12 schools. Your zip code shouldn’t determine the quality of your education. The BEST program has been changing educational opportunities for over a decade in Colorado.

In many school districts across Colorado, the school building is a central part of the community. These new and expanded schools provide generational change. They offer educational, recreational, and enrichment opportunities that are lifelong for all members of our communities, not just our students.”
Dave Young, Colorado State Treasurer and former K-12 educator

"Thanks to the efforts of Treasurer Dave Young, this funding will be used to help save rural and suburban schools, students and families money by fixing and repairing school facilities so we can continue to improve our education system in every zip code," said Governor Polis.

“The BEST Grant received will help transform the student experience at Conrad Ball Middle school. This grant will revitalize a building and community that students will grow and excel within for decades to come. Ultimately, we will provide a safe, welcoming environment the entire student body and community can be proud of.”
Dr. Marc Schaffer, Superintendent Thompson School District

Last week, the Colorado Department of the Treasury closed refinancing for almost $45 million in prior BEST bonding, saving Colorado taxpayers over $5 million in interest. 

“I am pleased that once again, we were able to take advantage of interest rates at near historic lows,” said Colorado Treasurer and former K-12 educator Dave Young. “With an average borrowing cost of just 1.86% interest on the refinancing, we are able to continue to provide critical capital funding to schools across the state without burdening Colorado taxpayers.”

The eight school districts covered with the refinancing include:
Akron School District in Washington county
Alamosa School District in Alamosa county
Big Sandy School District in Elbert and El Paso counties
Idalia School District in Yuma and Kit Carson counties
Mapleton School District in Adams county
Park County School District in Park county
Salida School District in Chaffee county
Silverton School District in San Juan county

BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) Grant Program

BEST is the only K-12 capital construction program in the state of Colorado.

Established in 2008 with the signing of C.R.S.22-43.7, BEST provides an annual amount of funding in the form of competitive grants to school districts, charter schools, institute charter schools, boards of cooperative educational services, and the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. BEST funds can be used for the construction of new schools, as well as general construction and renovation of existing school facility systems and structures.The primary focus of BEST is to resolve health, safety, and security issues in Colorado public schools.

Since its inception, 151 out of 178 school districts across the state have received BEST Grant Funding, improving learning environments for more than 325,000 students. During 2021, BEST generated $234 million dollars in school construction projects, creating or supporting 4,095 jobs.