FREMONT COUNTY, Colo - The Fremont County School District Re-1 staff is doing what it can to plug up holes in schools and technology as best as it can with its current budget. In the November election, voters said no to two ballot issues that would have helped boost the money in the district and repair pricey problems at facilities.
I went to the Lincoln School of Science and Technology to check out the patch work that's being done without the new money. Head Custodian, Abe England showed me the new problems because of recent snow. It included damaged tiles that left holes in the ceiling above the kids.
He told me, "We replace the tile. It snows and they stain and if it snows hard enough then it comes down. We can do it for a while but not too long. As you bandage something and if it's not taken care of, it gets infected and the problems spread. It's the exact same thing with the roof. A small hole can turn into a larger hole, then eventually the damage is not repairable."
The tiles in the roof are the most dramatic problems but there are also doors with small holes in them and windows that are so old that they are leaking out the warmth from the classrooms.
Principal Tammy DeWolfe is trying to be positive about the problems and the hope that they could be permanently fixed in the future. She is still a realist about how those repairs may have to be paid for and that they could include serious budget talks for the whole district. She tells me, "Anytime you make a cut in one area, you sacrifice and suffer in another area."
Monday, the School Board will meet to discuss what future cuts may look like in the district. Those cuts could include more kids per class and if a school needs to be closed to save money. There is nothing set in stone yet. I'll keep watching and keep you in the know about what changes may be pushed forward in the future.