School district’s 5A moving forward

Narrowing down owner’s rep and bonds go to market next week

[  By Kendra Walker  ]

On Monday, January 9, Gunnison Watershed School District superintendent Leslie Nichols updated the school board on the latest regarding the district’s 5A bond initiative that was passed by voters last November. The estimated $95 million facilities expansion project will address safety, overcrowding and sustainability issues at each of the district’s buildings.

On Wednesday, the school district’s selection committee conducted interviews with four applicants for the district’s owner’s representative. Nichols noted that the final four were selected from 10 submissions. “They were all high-quality submissions. We’re going to have a hard decision because they’re all really strong,” said Nichols. “I think we’re going to come out with an incredible partner for the next three-plus years on this complicated project. I’m excited to begin that relationship because they’ll be a huge help in navigating all of our next steps and planning and executing the project.” 

Nichols also shared that once an owner’s representative is selected, the next big steps will be to work with them on procuring construction management/general contracting services. 

This week, the district also published its bond offering document, and on January 17 will go to market to sell the bonds. Nichols noted that the district’s investment broker Todd Snidow said that GWSD’s bond project is front of the line relative to other large bond projects that passed. “Those won’t be occurring until later in January and he’s indicated that being first to market with our package will benefit us,” said Nichols.

Board treasurer Dave Taylor also noted that interest rates are extremely appealing right now. “It’s as good as it has been in probably the last six months. That should get us on target to what we’ve told the taxpayers,” he said. 

Nichols previously shared with the News that the district hopes to start breaking ground this summer and the goal for final project completion is targeted for the end of summer 2026.

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