Friday, February 27, 2009

Better Schools Because of BEST

Sen. Schwartz congratulates five Southern Colorado school districts named BEST finalists

DENVER – Today, Senator Gail Schwartz ( SD 5 – Democrat ) congratulated five Southern Colorado schools districts named finalists for receiving new schools buildings and improvements under the B.E.S.T. program.

The five Southern Colorado school districts and projects are:

  • Alamosa School District RE-11J; two new elementary schools will replace three elementary schools
  • Sangre De Cristo School District RE-22J; new PK-12 school
  • Centennial School District R-1; new PK-12 school (supplemental)
  • Sargent School District RE-33J; new junior/senior high school and elementary school renovation
  • Mountain Valley School District RE-1; roofing and repair under designed structure (supplemental)

A total of eleven Colorado school districts were selected as finalists to receive B.E.S.T. funding for construction or renovation projects, with five being from Southern Colorado.

Senator Schwartz was a key sponsor of the 2008 legislation that created the B.E.S.T, or Building Excellent Schools Today, program. B.E.S.T. increases the financial assistance provided to school districts for desperately- needed capital construction projects, particularly in rural school districts.

“This is one of my happiest moments as a lawmaker,” said Sen. Gail Schwartz. “To know that hundreds of children in Southern Colorado will be able to attend school each day in new, safer buildings is good news for two main reasons. First, our children deserve safe learning environments. Second, these construction projects will provide good-paying jobs in these communities. I encourage the State Board of Education to grant their final approval to these projects so that we can get to work on providing better schools for children in Southern Colorado.”

The Colorado State Board of Education will give their final approval at their March 2009 state board meeting. Projects approved by the State Board will be awarded after March 19.

For more information on the BEST project recommendations, visit