Mar 3, 2014 7:49 PM by Greg Dingrando

Dist 11 taking bids for Bates Elementary

COLORADO SPRINGS - Colorado Springs' biggest school district is trying to sell off another one of it's old schools and bidders are already lining up.

Bates Elementary shut down last year due to dwindling numbers and Friday the district opened it up for bids.

Residents near the school said its about time.

"Its just been sitting around doing nothing there. So it would be nice to see it converted into something useful at least," said resident Hunter Ovenga.

It may have taken awhile to start taking bids, but it didn't take long for possible buyers to start popping up.

"We have gotten interest from individuals, charter schools, and business developers," said Kristine Odom, an administrator with District 11.

Odom is in charge of presenting each bid to the board of education. The board will then narrow it down if they find something they like.

If the board doesn't like what it sees, it could reject every bid which is what happened at Ivywild years ago, before Bristol Brewing Company eventually swooped in and turned it into a bar and brewery.

"The board feels the tax payers help put that school there and we need to help make sure it's a good fit for that neighborhood," said Odom.

So what would be a good fit? It depends on who you ask.

"I think it should be something for the university to use. I know they're doing a lot of development over there anyways and there's a bunch of UCCS students in this neighborhood so I think it would be a good use for it," said Ovenga.

Others didn't really have an idea of what they would like to see go in, but they did have opinions on what they don't want.

"I don't want to see any commercial or apartments or anything. It needs to keep a low profile," said Gerrit Van Kampen.

One thing all the neighbors near the school agree on is they want something to go in and soon, but the district said the speed of a decision and eventual transformation depends on how good the offer is and what the bidder has planned.

The final day for bids is March 31. The district hopes to start presenting options to the board by April.



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