New elementary school ready for bid, hope to break ground next year

The San Juan School District cultural and planning committees gathered for their last official meeting on Oct. 16 in Bluff.
The meeting signals the final stages of the planning phase for the new Bluff Elementary school.
In the meeting, the committees and district looked over a final architectural plan as well as a cultural plan and design for the new building before accepting them and sending them off for finalization.
There is a possibility the committee may meet again for donor-funded projects for the new school in the future, but the meeting last week signals the plans for the school have been accepted and sent off to MHTN Architects for finalization.
Jones and Demille Engineering is the other firm the district has been working with while drawing up the conceptualization of the new school.
The next step is to send the finalized plans out to bid, and if all goes according to plan, break ground on the new school sometime in the next year.
“We’re making a great time and making good progress getting everything we need to have in line for putting that out to bid this fall,” San Juan School District Business Administrator Kyle Hosler said.
“Through several different land transactions and participation from community members, landowners, and different things like that, I can tell you it has been a community-wide event.
There have been a lot of people that have contributed and put in to help get us to this point and help us progress to this point.”
Hosler said the district is grateful for all the help and support from the great people in the community who live in both Bluff and Mexican Hat. They came together to help try and bring an elementary school to the community that generations of children will attend.
“All of the parents and families of kids will attend this school and are going to enjoy this beautiful, brand new school,” Hosler said.
“They have been nothing but supportive and helpful in their efforts and have helped us move forward and make contacts with the people who we needed to.”
This will be the third school the San Juan School District has built in recent years if all goes according to plan.
“We have had a culture committee and a guiding committee (planning) working side by side on it,” San Juan School District Superintendent Ron Nielson said.
“The culture committee has been focusing on culture, and the guidance committee has been focusing on other aspects such as instructional, aesthetics, and other type elements of the building.
“Both of those committees now have completed their work, so right now as it sits, the plans are being finalized.”
MHTN will be sending their plans to the State Fire Marshal for approval, and once the committees and district receive that approval, the project is ready to go out to bid.
“This is the third building that we have built recently just in the last few years. I would say it has gone pretty much as we assumed it would, knowing what we have learned from the previous two,” Nielson said.

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