School district and town still debating energy certification

Wrinkles in IGA and LEED issues expected to be ironed out

There were a couple of hiccups this week in the negotiations between the town of Crested Butte and the RE1J school board over a possible land transfer. The Town Council has agreed in principle to allow the school district to expand the Crested Butte Community School onto the town-owned Tommy V baseball field. That field is located south of the Crested Butte Community School and the building expansion would take place if voters approve the school bond issue on the current ballot.



While the general terms of agreement have been settled between the school district representatives and the Town Council, when the details of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) started being negotiated between lawyers for both sides, unexpected issues apparently arose.
School board representative MJ Vosburg was scheduled to come before the council Monday evening to iron out easy last-minute concerns. But after the town received a copy of the proposed IGA with several changes from the school district’s attorney an hour before the meeting, the item was pulled from the agenda.
“I think we are reasonably far apart on some issues,” Crested Butte town attorney John Belkin informed the council. Given the sensitive nature of the negotiations, specifics would not be discussed. Belkin said after the meeting that he expected an agreement to be worked out, but it was taking longer than expected.
Vosburg expressed confidence Tuesday that any hiccups will be worked through and “a great facility will be built for the school and the town. Given the short time frame, the IGA wasn’t ready for a council or school board discussion so we feel getting the staff and attorneys in the same room is a good idea. I’m confident all the issues that came up will get worked out.”
Mayor Alan Bernholtz said he too had faith the two sides would come back together with a good agreement. “I just want to make sure and make it very clear that if this happens, I want the field replaced as soon as possible with no more than one summer taking place without the Tommy V field,” he said.
The staff and attorneys from both sides were expected to meet Thursday to iron out any wrinkles in the proposed IGA.
The council also again reiterated its desire to have any new school expansion LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. The school district has said they would prefer, for cost and bureaucracy reasons, to have a third party verify the building meets LEED standards but not get the actual certificate.
Office for Resource Efficiency representatives Alison Gannett and Andris Zobs came to the Monday, October 20 council meeting and asked that the LEED certificate be obtained.
“The cost of the administrative part of getting the LEED certification would run anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000,” estimated Zobs. “That would essentially be the same cost for obtaining the third-party verification.”
Gannett told the council that a LEED certificate shouldn’t cost more than about 1 percent of the total cost of the project. “And that money is usually off-set in the first year of operation,” she said.
Bernholtz again stated his desire to have the certificate. “I want it LEED-certified,” he said. “The school should be the leaders and be an example for energy efficiency,” he said.
Vosburg said she was also confident that both sides would reach agreement over the LEED issue as well.
Representatives of ORE, the town and the school district will also get together in the next week at a separate meeting to find the iron and lose the wrinkles.

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