Long-range school district plan spells out need for new high school in Wellington

Wellington may get its wish for a new high school after all.

As part of its ongoing work in planning for the future, Poudre School District updates its Comprehensive Facilities Master Plan every seven to 10 years. The draft version of the current update, released March 25, is scheduled for completion by August 2015 with a final version of the updated master plan to be completed no later than March 2016.

The initial update to the plan addresses school population growth in the Wellington area by proposing several possible changes and additions to existing facilities. Of critical interest is the possibility of constructing a new 1,200-seat middle school/high school in or near Wellington with a proposed opening date of 2020. In time, the building would transition to a high school when the population demands it. At that time, at least 10 years in the future, a new middle school in or near Wellington would be built. The school would alleviate pressure at Wellington Middle School and Poudre High School.

Wellington Middle School is currently at 85 percent capacity with four modular buildings on site. Immediate solutions include placing some middle school classrooms in Eyestone Elementary School and adding modular buildings as needed.

The boundary area for the new high school would be created by altering the existing boundaries of Wellington, Lincoln and Lesher middle schools and Poudre High School. As many as 472 middle school students and 580 high school students currently residing in the area could attend the school at its opening.

Wellington Mayor Jack Brinkhoff said, “I’m excited and hopeful at this news. I would love to see a high school in a Wellington location and encourage Wellington families and parents to share their thoughts at the opportunity for community input.”

Poudre School District Communications Director Danielle Clark explains that planning professionals have determined the need for a larger middle school in Wellington and the potential need for a high school.

“It’s hard to project five years out,” she said. “But if projections pan out, new schools will be needed.” She also added that a bond issue may be needed to finance planned construction. “Input from Wellington community members will help us to solidify whether or not the need exists and our plans are good ones.”

The long-range plan also anticipates a new 1,800-seat middle school/high school at a site east of I-25 on Prospect Street to alleviate pressure at Lesher and Preston middle schools and Fossil Ridge High School. It would transition to a high school with concurrent construction of a new middle school east of I-25.

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