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Old 05-01-2011   #1
Durango, CO
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 144
Durango living advice? (young family)


I'm about 2 weeks away from being done with Grad School...so i've been obsessively applying to residency programs in CO. Mostly in Denver, as my field is a pretty narrow scope.

On a whim about 6 weeks ago I sent a resume and transcripts to a practice in Flagstaff. I never heard anything and figured they didn't have anything for me...not suprising for a fairly small town.

then last week I get a phone call and was told that they may have a place for me in flag, but where the guy really needed me was in Durango. I just about sh!t myself right there on the phone. I drove up that night, interviewed the next day, and the day after that (friday of last week) i got an email saying they were going to corporate for an employment contract. that was fast!

I've always loved Durango, but never thought living there was a possibility. But now, after paying dues for a year of Residency I'm actually going to have a decent-paying professional job in Durango. Stoked. It'll involve weekly trips to Farmington, but that's the sacrifice i gotta pay.

I know about the great recreational opportunities...i've paddled the animas and mountain biked both the trails in town and some of the alpine, and i've backpacked through the San Juans a few times. Plus the access to the deserts of SE UT? I'm feeling real good.

But, my questions are more about raising kids in Durango....two girls 6.5 and 3.5 years old.

-We're looking at renting for the first year (unless our house in Santa Fe sells quickly...). leaning toward neighborhoods nearRiverview Elementary area but I also like the West side over by Needham. Any thoughts? good teachers? Bad teachers?

-My youngest is will be in preschool again next year. any advice here?

-Park Elementary area looks nice, but I don't think we can afford that 'hood...

-anyone work in Real Estate? know of a good fsbo or something (3/2) for rent?

-don't suppose anyone needs to hire an acupuncturist who specializes in Women's Health? (wife's career)

We'd like to be in town (I'll be working near Animas Surgical Hospital) and will likely be commuting by bike. I'd also like to be in a hood with other kids and where they can walk/bike to school.

any advice would be appreciated...Thanks!

(...we also have some space on a late-May San Juan trip if anyone wants to join us...it'd be cool to meet some other boating families before we get up there...)

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Old 05-02-2011   #2
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477

A few answers-

All of the elementary schools in Durango have great teachers, though the administration of the district is lacking. Needham has the highest test scores if that's what you are looking for while Park is one of the lowest scoring schools.

Needham is in an upper class neighborhood, Riverview is middle, and Park is in a lower economic class part of town. I'm not sure where you heard it was more expensive there...

Apply for pre-schools immediately- they fill up quick.

As everywhere else, there are tons of houses on the market- for a smoking deal right now, look toward Hesperus- there seem to be a great number of bank owned homes out that way right now.

I have a 6 year old son and we have done the SJ several times- when is your trip? Welcome to town! K

"There is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?" -Wind in the Willows
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Old 05-02-2011   #3
Durango, CO
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 144

Thanks for the reply!

It seemed like to me (just driving around) that the 'hood around Park was more expensive just because if it's proximity to Downtown/3rd Ave. But, after looking through RE listings I see what you mean.

Test scores aren't as important to us as parent involvement and teacher quality.

Do you have any pre-school recommendations? We can't be back up there until the week of the 16th as I need to travel for Lab Practical examinations next week. We plan on sitting in on 1st grade classes at the elementary schools...but there is less info available for preschools online.

pretty committed to living in town, and not out toward hesperus or DW.

We are launching 5/26 on the upper. we'll take our time and try to see all the side-hikes, ruins, etc. We've done the lower section (MH-CH) a few times but this is our first trip on the SI-MH section. A gaggle of kids are coming from 3-9 (two 6 year olds). we'd love to have you if you're around. take out 29th or 30th
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Old 05-06-2011   #4
RiverMamma's Avatar
ebbing, flowing..., CO, NM
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 239
WOHOO!!! Yeah Bry!!! You didn't tell me you GOT the Job!!! Congrats yo!!! BTW, picked up your sup board today... will be back in the hood sun/mon... you be back stateside then? either way, see you soon! & yes, must swap couch surfs, boating time & playdate time!
Journeys of a River Mamma Blog "Ever onward, ever forward, ever down the River!"- Ed Abbey
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Old 05-06-2011   #5
Durango, CO
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 144
sssshhhhhhhh!!!! don't jinx it! no contract signed yet! (although I did get a very promising email today that is looking very good...)

no i won't be back in NM until Weds....have to be in CT early next week for finals.

I'll leg M know you're coming by.

thanks for grabbing that board!
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Old 05-06-2011   #6
RiverMamma's Avatar
ebbing, flowing..., CO, NM
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 239
no prob! yeah, I can give M a ring when I get down there... & hey man, I've got my fingers crossed for ya!
Journeys of a River Mamma Blog "Ever onward, ever forward, ever down the River!"- Ed Abbey
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Old 05-07-2011   #7
Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1968
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 5
Congrads, I grew up in Durango in the 50s/60s and wish I'd had the opportunity to raise my family there. Your children will love it.

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