In November of 2004 Mesa County voters approved a one hundred and nine million dollar bond to improve schools in District 51. Last year the school district wrapped up phase one of the multi-million dollar project and have already started phase two.
Twenty- two schools in District 51 will be under construction this year. For the most part the construction will mainly consist of renovations, but a few new schools are being built as well. At this point the district is in the design and planning phase of the project. By May the majority of the construction will begin. The school district is hoping all the construction will be complete by the end of 2006 or the beginning of 2007.
However, even when this project is complete more work will still be needed. The election bond is only covering the highest priority needs in the schools such as heating, ventilation, code and life safety issues. According to Jeff Kirtland with District 51, when the district originally went to the voters they identified more than $230 million worth of needs within the schools. They then brought that figure down to $109 million by prioritizing the needs on a scale from one to five. All this bond covered were problems that ranked number one on the scale. The district still has a list of needs within the schools that ranked two to five that will eventually have to be tackled.
Every school in the district received some funding from the bond which according to Kirtland is rare.