Conversation on Pleasant View begins

Jeffco Public Schools hosts input meeting on future of former school

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Conversations about the future of the property that formerly housed Pleasant View Elementary School have begun. However, it is still undetermined what the site will become.

Everything is just ideas at this point, said Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Jason Glass.

But, he added, “we would like to do something with it that the community wants. That is our driving force.”

Glass headed a public meeting hosted by the Jeffco school district on Dec. 5 at Pleasant View, 15920 W. 10th Ave. in Golden, to find out what the community's preferences are for the future of the building.

The school district owns the property, so it can retain ownership of it, or put it on the market for sale, Glass said. Any conversation on the property's future concerning ownership or sale, have been informal, Glass said. Likewise, any proposal for its future use has not yet been considered, he added.

Glass mentioned the district has received some interest in the site, but declined to provide names of any parties.

He did, however, present six ideas that the district came up with: a children's museum, a conference center/meeting space, an early childhood education facility, a family justice center such as a safe place where domestic violence victims can get resources, housing development and reopen it as a charter or private school. There was also a category where the meeting's attendees could provide their own ideas.

From the comments attendees posted under each category, Glass noted a favorable response of it reopening as a facility of some sort that serves the community's children, and resistance to it becoming a family justice center and housing. There was also favorable interest in the other categories — the children's museum and conference center/meeting — but those also brought up questions on how it would work and/or be implemented.

Examples of the suggestions that attendees wrote down in the additional category included turning it into an equestrian center, or a community center that would serve all age demographics in the greater Pleasant View area.

Rachel Duncan of Golden, a parent of a fifth grader and a second grader, would love to see the building become a community center or reopen as a school, she said.

“These are central places in a community,” Duncan said. “If it becomes a school or a community center, it would provide a place where Jeffco kids can come to learn and grow in a beautiful environment.”

One concern voiced at the meeting was parking. The lot has 61 spaces, and nearby residents are concerned it would be too small to accommodate the influx of visitors, depending on what it becomes. They worry parking would spill into the neighborhood streets, causing overcrowding.

The land is zoned as R2, which allows for single family homes and duplexes, said Tim Rogers, who sits on the Jefferson County Planning Commission.

If it were to come to it, any rezoning proposal would have to go through the county government and follow its process, Rogers said. The developer would have to submit an application, and public hearings have to take place. People have the opportunity to speak at a public hearing in front of the Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners, and in rezoning cases, the planning commission in addition.

“The intent is to be transparent,” Rogers said. “Those decisions will always involve the neighbors.”

Pleasant View Elementary was built in 1950, and underwent remodels in 1983, 1997 and 2001. Additions to the building occurred in 1961, 1964, 1995 and 1999. The school received 12 system upgrades through the years, which included electrical, plumbing mechanical and roof work. The building is 49,079 square feet and it sits on 6.6 acres.

Following a Jeffco Board of Education decision in February, Pleasant View closed on May 23. The board cited low enrollment and aging building conditions among reasons for the closure.

As a school, the building has a capacity of 461 students. Peak enrollment was during the 1998-99 school year with 401 students, and the lowest enrollment was 236 students in the 2009-10 school year.

“We are where we are,” Glass said at the Dec. 5 meeting, referring to Pleasant View's closure. “The question now is what's next?”

About 100 people attended the meeting. They consisted of parents and residents with a direct connection to Pleasant View, and people with ties to the greater Golden and Jefferson County communities.

Before any decisions will be made, the immediate next step will be taking the public's input into consideration, Glass said, adding he is grateful the meeting had a good turnout.

“We're working to take their feedback and thoughts into account as we decide what to do with this site moving forward,” Glass said.

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