District 51 breaks ground for new Grand Junction High School
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - District 51 along with community members gathered on the field to the northeast of Grand Junction High School to break ground, celebrating the new high school building in the works.
The original school was built in 1956 and countless students from multiple generations made their way through the halls. But as with all buildings, age takes its toll.
For the last several years the district campaigned to get funding to rebuild the high school from the ground up. In 2019, a ballot measure as put forward to help the district get a bond for funding, but voters shot it down. But the district didn’t want to give up.
“We knew as we kept watching the condition of the old school that we needed to go back and do it again, simply because the building needed to be replaced,” said District 51 superintendent, Dr. Diana Sirko. “It’s badly in need of repair. It’s been repaired over time, but you can only fix something so many times.”
A new ballot was put forward on the 2021 ballot which would grant the district $115 million in a tax bond to rebuild. Sirko and many others knocked on doors throughout the community pleading their case to build the new school. This time around voters adopted the measure, which would increase taxes. According to the district, a $300,000 home would see a nearly $40 annual tax increase. The district also received a $10 million B.E.S.T. grant.
“That bond was such a pivotal moment for us,” said Grand Junction High School principal, Meghan Roenicke. “It just puts into action everything else that’s going to happen over the next two years here on campus.”
Construction is already underway and is expected to take about two years, which means the students and staff will have a new home in the 2024 fall semester.
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