Pueblo's School District 60 is closer to making two new high schools a reality as designs for the new East and Centennial schools were recently presented to the community.
The design of each is roughly the same, but differences will be made for school colors and logos. District spokesman Dalton Sprouse said it is part of Pueblo's identity to remain a "four high school city." He said the changes keep that legacy but the new facilities will be a much-needed upgrade as the current buildings are more than five decades old.
"They just weren't built with the electrical capacity to handle today's modern classroom. And we also had plumbing issues and sewer problems," Sprouse said.
The schools are set to open in 2023 with a capacity of 1,200 students each. The estimated cost is $152 million. Pueblo voters approved a ballot measure to fund the projects last fall. The remaining $66 million raised from the ballot issue will be used for upgrades at the district's other two high schools and a host of other properties.
In addition, the state has recommended the district for a pair of BEST Grants that would fund two new elementary schools. The grants come from the state Department of Education and provide annual funding to schools that can be used for construction and renovations.
Sprouse says D60 has struggled with declining enrollment. He sees this as an opportunity to change that.
"We have the chance to change the face of public education in Pueblo, because of not only the bond but also the BEST Grants so we're really excited," he said.
That money now depends on just a signature from Governor Jared Polis.
The next town hall for the high schools will be in early August.