SAN LUIS VALLEY — The Colorado State Board of Education approved 43 school construction projects totaling more than $401 million from the Capital Construction Assistance Fund for the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant program at its monthly two-day meeting held Wednesday and Thursday in Salida. Including four local school districts
Grants were awarded to Monte Vista in Rio Grande County to replace the Delta Center roof. The district had requested $131,891.25 and contributed $43,963.75 for a total project amount of $175,855.
North Conejos School District was awarded $24.2 million with a match of $6.4 million to replace Centauri High School for a total $30.6 million project. This is the only lease/purchase grant in the Valley and is contingent on the passage of a bond issue in November.
In Costilla County, Sierra Grande R-30 received a $35.2 million to replace the school. The school district will contribute a $13.78 million match. The total project is just short of $49 million.
Approximately $129 million of the 2019 awards will be funded through cash grants provided by income earned from the Colorado State Land Board, marijuana excise taxes, spillover from the Colorado Lottery and interest on the assistance fund. Applicants will contribute $110 million in matching funds.
The grants are intended to improve health, safety, security and technology in public schools. Schools apply for the grants and the Capital Construction Assistance Board reviews the applications, prioritizing them and submitting their recommendations to the state board for approval.
Since 2008, BEST has funded 354 grants in 141 school districts for a total of $2.1 billion in projects.