Will De Beque property tax increase in order to get money for a new school?

DE BEQUE, Colo. Tonight the De Beque Elementary School will find out its fate for the future.

The school is over 50 years old and has many structural issues.
After many inspections, De Beque realized that they will soon need a new elementary school building.

This year voters had the chance to vote yes to De Beque Elementary being rebuilt.

"I’m excited that it's here. I’m also very nervous but I feel like the community recognizes the need," said Alan Dillon, the De Beque Superintendent.

De Beque Elementary School is is in desperate need of a renovation.

"We had engineers go through, we had all the different trades take a look at our structures and we recognized that there was a need that we needed to move on to build for the future. It means that we were going to have to tear down some things and do some rebuilding," saud Dillon.

The Colorado Department of Education granted De Beque $5.3 million in order to rebuild. De Beque needs around $11 million in addition in order to complete construction.

"Not only do we need an elementary wing but we also need to redo some other parts of the school. Our music room, our stage, things like that are over on this side of the campus," said Dillon.

In order to reach the $11 million goal De Beque would have to increase property taxes. That's where ballot issue 3A comes in. It will raise property taxes $2.30 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

"I believe there's another way to come up with the funds," said De Beque resident Brenda Hammett.

Some residents saying the money should be used for other projects around town. "I don’t see a recreation department being built for our youth while they walk around on the streets with nothing to do," said Hammett.

If the vote passes the De Beque Elementary School will start moving forward with the renovation tomorrow with a design team already in place. If the vote does not pass the De Beque school district will lose the $5 million grant.

With the design team in place already, it would save the district 3 to 4 months of construction time. The district also already has its bids out for a general contractor.

School administrators are hoping that they receive good news tonight that the De Beque community will be able to get a new school.
The results will be finalized at 7 p.m. tonight.

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