By Penny Stine
It looks like construction season in many parts of Orchard Mesa, where construction has started on the new, $40 million middle school and where homes continue to be sold as fast as construction companies can build them.
The construction fence and office trailer were installed at the middle school in late July, and the foundation is getting dug and built for the new building, which will be in front of the old building on Unaweep Avenue. The existing school will continue to be used throughout the construction of the new school, which is scheduled to be complete by December 2019.
Construction may disrupt a few schedules and activities and may impact where parents can pick up and drop off their children. For the most accurate information, check the school’s website.
Although the existing school will be demolished after the new school is built, the building that houses the community swimming pool will not be. It will continue to serve as a city-operated facility and will no longer be a safety issue for the school since the community pool and the school will no longer share a building.
New homes on Orchard Mesa continue to sell well. Michael Maves with Maves Construction has several homes under construction at Chipeta Heights, east of 29 Road and south of B 1/2, and the developers behind Mountain View Estates are doing infrastructure construction for the next filing.
“We’re doing filing three at Mountain View,” said Rick Wagner, one of the development partners for the neighborhood. “They will all be developed and finished by the end of August.”
According to Wagner, many of the lots have already been sold to builders who are currently working in earlier phases at Mountain View.
“We’re selling them to whoever comes in,” Wagner said. “As long as they meet our covenants, anyone can purchase and build in the neighborhood.”
Covenants include a size requirement of at least 1,800 square feet, with stucco and stone exteriors. Homes can be ranch or two-story. Builders who have already reserved lots include Corey Carter, Chuck Lopez, and Jim Jenson, who have all built several homes in the first two filings at Mountain View.
Homes are still being built at Spyglass Ridge, a planned development that has its own community center, walking trails and some of the best views in the Grand Valley. G.J. Gardner is building many of the homes in Spyglass, which is accessed from 27 Road off Highway 50 in Orchard Mesa.
“We’re getting ready to start three homes in Spyglass Ridge,” said Lawrence Balerio, owner of G.J. Gardner. The company owns five more lots in the neighborhood.
“We’re hoping to do infrastructure by mid-to-late September,” Balerio said, “and hoping to start building the first home in November. We want to be ready to sell by early spring in 2019.”
The homes will be stucco and stone Craftsman style homes, with front porches, and timber and metal accents. Prices will most likely be in the mid-$300s up to about $400,000.
With this much residential construction and the new middle school underway, expect additional commercial development to follow within the next few years. There are under-utilized commercial developments waiting for more end users, and new rooftops could bring more attention from businesses who are looking for a new place to call home.