Rio Grande National Forest announces plans for new headquarters in Del Norte

Courtesy photo: Pictured is of a ceremonial “passing of the keys” to the building from Upper Rio Grande School District C-7 custodian Stan Montoya to RGNF Forest Supervisor, Dan Dallas, which occurred on Friday, September 4, 2020. In behind, from left to right, are district Superintendent Chris Burr, Principal Aaron Horrocks, RGNF Realty Specialist Andrew Peterson and RGNF Forest Engineer, Meg Sullivan.

MONTE VISTA – The Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) announced today that the deed to the former Del Norte High School has been fully executed and the land and building now belong to the US government. The planning process is well underway for the construction of a new office that will replace the current Supervisor’s Office (SO) located in Monte Vista.

“This milestone is the culmination of several years of persistence by representatives from the district and RGNF staff,” said Forest Supervisor, Dan Dallas. “I particularly would like to recognize school district leadership for their persistence, flexibility and patience as we navigated through complicated government regulations and processes.”

The RGNF has already implemented a three phased approach to the construction of the new office. The planning phase developed building and property designs. Phase two will involve a partial demolition of interior materials, including the removal of materials that can become hazardous during demolition, as commonly found in older buildings. Bids for the contract of phase two will be awarded soon with work anticipated to begin in October.

Phase three will encompass the construction of the new office. The RGNF is currently evaluating bids for that contract which is slated to be awarded by the end of September. The new office will utilize portions of the old school building, while conforming to modern environmental standards including sustainability, energy and water efficiency.

The construction process is expected to be completed sometime in late 2021 or early 2022. Until the new SO is opened, we will remain in business in our current Monte Vista location. The Divide Ranger District office in Del Norte will not be affected by the SO move and will remain open for business. The RGNF wishes to extend thanks to all the communities in the San Luis Valley for their continued support over the long term.

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