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News Release - State Board of Education approves 65 grants for school construction projects valued at over $665 million
June 9, 2021
State Board of Education approves 65 grants for school construction projects valued at over $665 million
DENVER -- The Colorado State Board of Education on Wednesday approved a total of 41 Building Excellent Schools Today school construction grants and another 24 emergency grant requests to resolve ventilation and filtration issues related to COVID-19.
The BEST grants total almost $623 million in school construction projects, using nearly $297 million from the Capital Construction Assistance Fund. The projects in schools throughout Colorado range from roof and boiler replacements to constructing entire school buildings.
Approximately $146 million of the 2021-22 BEST grant awards will be funded through cash 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 approximately $262 million in matching funds.
The state will finance another $150.4 million that will be repaid with future assistance fund revenues. Applicants will contribute $63.5 million in matching money for those lease-purchase grant projects.
Another 24 emergency grant requests were approved to resolve ventilation and filtration issues related to COVID-19. The emergency grant projects total almost $43 million, with nearly $24 million from the Capital Construction Assistance Fund.
All school districts, BOCES, the Charter School Institute, charter schools and Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind may apply for the construction grants.
The BEST grants are intended to improve health, safety, security and technology in public schools. The Capital Construction Assistance Board reviews all of the applications, prioritizing them and submitting recommendations to the State Board of Education for approval.
Including the awards for this grant cycle, since 2008, BEST has funded nearly $3.5 billion in school improvement projects in almost every district in the state.
The approved BEST projects for the 2021-22 cycle include:
- $49 million for a remodel and addition for Windsor Middle School in Windsor RE-4 School District, which includes a $39.8 million local match.
- $47.5 million for Rocky Ford R-2 for a new preschool through eighth-grade school and renovations and additions to the high school, which includes a $7.6 million local match.
- $1.4 million for critical safety upgrades at Pagosa Peak Open School in Archuleta County 50 JT, which includes a $779,266 match.
See the full list of approved BEST projects here.
See the list of projects that will be funded through the emergency grant request here.
By statute, projects recommended by the state board that are selected for lease-purchase financing are referred to the state’s Capital Development Committee for review and approval.