Lincoln Swaner and Nico Eubanks

Lincoln Swaner and Nico Eubanks look for migratory birds in the midst of a May snow.

On Friday, the Colorado Department of Education Capital Construction Assistance Board recommended the Lake County School District receive a $20,800,000 “Building Excellent Schools Today” (BEST) grant.

This grant would provide 60% of the funding needed to replace the West Park Elementary School facility with a new building that would house LCSD’s preschool (PK) through second-grade students. LCSD’s PK program is currently housed at Pitts Elementary. To raise the $13,900,000 in matching funds required to receive the BEST grant, the LCSD Board of Education will likely seek a bond measure on the November 2019 ballot.

“We want to thank the Capital Construction Assistance Board for prioritizing Lake County School District’s students,” said LCSD Superintendent Dr. Wendy Wyman. “We are excited to start planning for a new PK-2 school that will positively support the learning, development, and physical and emotional wellbeing of our community’s youngest children.”

The PK-2 project was identified and prioritized as a part of the 2019 LCSD master planning process, managed by the school district with input from the Community Visioning Team and the broader Lake County community. The two schools that currently serve LCSD’s PK-2 students (West Park and Pitts Elementary School facilities) are ranked among the top 10 poorest-condition schools in the state by the Colorado Department of Education.

“We look forward to engaging the community both in discussions about a potential November 2019 ballot initiative, as well as the design of a new school for our community,” Wyman said. “We are excited to write our next chapter and move toward a future where our PK-2 facility offers a physical environment that matches and enhances our students’ enthusiasm for learning.”

To learn more about the district’s 2019 Facility Master Plan and the new PK-2 school project, please visit

BEST is a competitive grant that provides financial assistance to school districts for the construction and/or renovation of new or existing public schools. It is funded by revenue from the State Land Trust, lottery proceeds, marijuana excise taxes, matching grant funds, and interest on monies in the assistance fund.

Lake County High School (serving students in grades 7–12) was fully renovated with the support of a $15,100,000 BEST grant and the generosity of LCSD residents, who provided $11,000,000 in matching funds through a successful bond measure in 2011.

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