Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland - November 20, 2016

In 2006 Boulder Valley Unified School District voters approved a $296.8 million bond.  Ft. Collins
architectural firm RB+B was the recipient of millions of dollars from the bond proceeds to design
Colorado's first-ever "platinum" LEED (Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design) certified
school campus.  The certification comes from the
U.S. Green Building Council.

Two Loveland architects, working for RB+B in Ft. Collins at the time, were impressed by the windfall
their firm received from Boulder's school bond and the ability to design news making "environmental
friendly" buildings for a school district whose "building green" priority could be placed in front of the
normal cost conscious private sector concerns about cost per square foot of building space. Both
have become active politically to do the same in the Thompson School District.

The problem was Colorado's first LEED Certified "platinum" school,
Boulder's Casey Middle School,
wouldn't be as popular with the teachers and students as the architects who designed the $33
million middle school and advocated for the bond.  Soon after opening in August of 2010, students
and teachers complained of a noxious gas smell and showed symptoms common from people
exposed to hydrogen sulfide.  In order to receive the prestigious "platinum" LEED Certification, the
school uses a geothermal heating system thought by many to be the cause of the illness teachers
and students have suffered since it opened.

Boulder Weekly's report last year on the ongoing controversy surrounding Casey Middle
School's apparent mysterious design flaw that continues to sicken teachers and students.  
According to one member of Boulder Valley School Board, district administration and many board
members are so indebted to the vendors who supported the bonds they are taking their side
instead of the parent's and teachers.  Many believe the building is making them sick and want to
stop using the geothermal heating system which circulates fluid from deep under ground to heat the

Any switch to a conventional heating system would not only cost the school its special "platinum"
LEED Certification status but also risk future green business opportunities for the architects who
designed the costly underground environmentally friendly heating system.  RB+B is reticent to
concede the $33 million campus was flawed due to problems in the heating system design.

Loveland's Own LEED Movement - Conflicts of Interest?

At the time RB+B designed Casey Middle School in Boulder, Jason Kersley and his wife, Stacee
Kersley, were environmental architects working at RB+B in Ft. Collins.  Each has a new local start-
up company now to provide design work directly to their own clients or in support of larger firms for
contract services.

Kersley has been active in supporting numerous political causes (see list of political contributions in
the column on the right) not the least of which was the proposed bond ballot issue for TSD she
lead.  The Coloradoan published a letter by Stacee Kersley on October 31, titled "
School District Investing Wisely
" which she concluded by stating,

"Big picture — new schools integrate design elements that help the district realize long-term
energy savings while contributing to improved student performance in the classroom.  
Voting yes on 3D and 3E is a win-win for our entire community."

The rhetoric of saving long-term energy costs in exchange for higher upfront building costs is
similar to that her previous employer RB+B advocated for to the Boulder Valley School District to
build the LEED Certified Casey Middle School.  

Both Stacee and her husband advertise they are "LEED" certified by the USGBC (U.S. Green
Building Council) so ready to design Colorado's next "platinum" certified school buildings.  Stacee
advertises her expertise in not only designing public buildings but school buildings specifically.  This
begs the question whether her advocacy for passing a bond to build new "greener" schools and
getting close to school board officials and district staff is for professional and not personal
reasons.  Is bringing millions of dollars in new design work to some local architects part of her
calculus when describing passage of the school property tax increases as a "win-win" for the entire

Evidence for this is her tireless advocacy for paying architects above the interests even of the
teacher's union.

It was the ReformWatch Facebook page that roasted members of the Thompson School Board
(TSD) Board of Education for
failing to approve $800,000 to RB+B in February of 2014 to design
the Innovation School named High Plains Academy.  Curiously, the teacher's union (Thompson
Education Association) was not advocating for an Innovation School which is similar to a charter
school in that instructors are not normally represented by the union's collective bargaining.  Below
is the posting in 2014 by ReformWatch lobbying for the release of $800,000 to RB+B Architects,

"The delay by the four reform members of the Thompson School District Board of Education
(Kerrigan, Rice, Carlson, and Langner) is almost beyond imagination. After 8 years of
planning and several recent presentations to the current board about the need for High
Plains in east Loveland, the BOE voted last week to table this school for another six months.
What do you think? Who is really running the current BOE?"

As evidenced by this ReformWatch post in 2014, presumably by Stacee Kersley, she is alluding to
another conspiracy theory about the previous BOE without any evidence in an almost childish
tone.  It is significant because the teacher's union was not advocating for the school which exposed
a fissure between the teacher's union and the ReformWatch Facebook page which frequently
promotes their causes.  In this case, it was specifically a payment to RB+B in question.  The BOE
later approved the funding the same year flowing the first payment for the school to RB+B
Architects of $800,000.  According to School Board President Bob Kerrigan, at the time, staff was
unwilling to share the bidding process and selection criteria information.  

Now that Issues 3E and 3D failed, the school district will likely close an elementary school that
employs union member teachers to maintain spending at High Plains Academy.

Kersley Uses City Post To Discriminate Against Charter School Children

Charter schools are the antithesis of the Kersley couple's agenda for pushing the envelope of
LEED certified designs in public edifices using public monies.  Charter schools have used existing
buildings to lease and when they rarely do build, the cost conscious partially parent funded
movement looks to optimize every dollar in the building using more traditional and proven building

During a July 20, 2015 meeting of Loveland's Historic Preservation Commission, which Stacee
Kersley is a member, a question was raised by local attorney Jon-Mark Patterson who is also a
member of the Historic Preservation Commission.  He asked why the "Historic Days" coordinated by
City of Loveland staffer Jenni Dobson, Curator of Education at the Loveland Museum, excluded
students attending Loveland Classical and New Vision Charter (both charter schools in Loveland).

While staff promised to get an answer, Stacee Kersley moved to approve the item before the
question could be answered.  The motion passed with Patterson abstaining thus resulting in the
official exclusion by the city of children attending charter schools from benefiting from the city
sponsored program.

see minutes from the meeting online

Bond Election 2017

Stacee Kersley headed-up the United for Thompson political group that worked to pass ballot
measures 3E and 3D which were on the general election ballot earlier this month.  Both failed to
gain support from a majority of Thompson School District voters.

Kersley's group has committed to bringing the bond back again for the November 2017 election
perhaps at a lesser amount.  Kersley's political activities through the Facebook page ReformWatch
include supporting candidates for school board who support her agenda of spending hundreds of
millions of dollars rebuilding the schools across the district.  

It has been now over a decade since the City of Loveland passed very strict campaign finance and
disclosure requirements to protect the public from undue influence by special interests in city
elections.  Until similar measures are passed for school districts, it is likely special interests like
developers, bond houses and especially LEED certified architects will continue lobbying voters to
pour more public resources into building LEED certified schools.
Architects Use School Bond Advocacy To
Create New Business Opportunities  
Loveland Architect Stacee
Kersley Political Contributions To;

Architects of Colorado Political Action

United For Thompson

Larimer County Democrats

Committee to Elect Jody District 51
(Colorado State House)

Denise Montagu
Thompson Board of Education

Posting on ReformWatch Facebook

Thompson School District Reform Watch

November 14 at 7:47am ·


The opponents of Thompson's 3D & 3E
fit into this article quite well. Are they
listening? You will learn some things
about ethics and the law when reading
this well written article.
SJK: "We call for a return to ethics from
those who opposed 3A and 3B."

The post by Lucero, a charter parent at
Golden View Classical that this article
refers to was just one of many by her in
the Denver Post that were intended to
harm Jeffco SD with lies.
Sound familiar? Sounds just like what
LPR's Bill Werst from Liberty Common
has been doing to Poudre and what
Balsiger, Welker and Kerrigan have
been doing to Thompson
Stacee Kersley, LEED Certified Architect
who helped organized TSD's 3E and 3D
Advocacy Campaigns and contributes to
Barbara Boyd's ReformWatch FB Page.
Photo is published here under the Fair Use Doctrine