(ELLICOTT, Colo.) — Ellicott School District 22 proposed a Property Tax Mill Levy Override on the upcoming November ballot, which comes as the district is looking to prepare for more people moving out east.

“At last month’s board meeting, I decided to go for a mill levy override and it’s going to be an ask for $500,000 of the community to help us finish our current projects, which we’ve expanded the elementary school,” said Ellicott School District 22 Superintendent, Chris Smith. “We’re going to do grades three through five and then behind the high school, it’s a vocational, which will have instructional trades, home economics, a classroom for CAD design and then like a makerspace for engineering and projects.”

If approved, the funds would go toward supporting the construction of a new facility for Career Technical Education and expansion of the elementary school with additional classrooms for grades three through five.

“Our community is not a booming one as far as funding and we took on the burden from our general fund to do these two buildings last year [as] the mill levy override did not pass,” Smith said. “And this one is specifically for classrooms. It’s specifically for the students to provide more opportunities for them.”

One unique opportunity for students in the district are courses in construction and welding, which provide real world skills that students can take with them after graduation.

“It’s really exciting to see that these students will have the opportunity to get a job,” said Building Trades Teacher, Dan Unruh. “We need 60,000 workers in Colorado in the skills trades areas. So, each one of these, they don’t have to go to college, or they can go to college and do a combination [of] work in college. It’s so exciting to see that they have so much opportunity.”

One student found in the woodshop on Thursday morning was freshman Dylan Angel. He shared why he enjoys taking construction courses.

“I’ve been working with my dad since I was 11 and it’s fun to keep on working instead of just like sitting in a classroom all day,” Angel said. “So it’s fun to like do an activity.”

Freshman Dylan Angel works on a shed during his construction class.

Angel, along with another freshman, were working on a shed during the class period. Unruh shared the need for the current space for welding and construction courses to be expanded.

“For what we teach here, welding and also woodworking and stuff, it’s really important that the kids have this opportunity and careers,” Unruh said. “It takes a lot of money, just expensive place to start. But we need that funding to get the facility up to date and we work with area contractors, area firms that need workers. So my juniors and seniors need that ability.”

The mill levy request on the November ballot would use funds to go toward a new construction facility and help accommodate the upward growth in the area.

“I know we have a population that doesn’t have kids in the high school, but it’s important that we maintain our schools, that we can continue to do what we need to do here,” Unruh said. “That’s why it’s so important to pass this mill levy, because we’re at a crunch situation where Ellicott is going to grow, like, big time in the next two to three to five years.”

Specifically, Smith shared an estimate of the mill levy request where a $100,000 household would pay around $53 a year.

On Thursday morning, construction on new homes is blossoming along Colorado State Highway 94, as more people move out east. Smith hopes the mill levy request will help the district be prepared for the future.

“The exciting part of it is we have new families that are moving in now,” Smith said. “A small example is our military friends to the west of us at Schriever, that’s going to that whole space command, Space Force change and shift and we want to provide those opportunities in those facilities for those parents that they can rest easy and do their mission so we can educate their children.”

In terms of what’s next, Smith said the district will host community meetings to hear feedback, and said anyone is welcome to stop in and ask him questions.

“We’re going to be as transparent as possible,” Smith said. “Ask the question, we don’t have anything to hide in what we’re trying to do… Stop by my office any time, look it up on the website, email any staff members, and we’ll get you the answer.”