The Bigfork School Board is putting the question of an updated high school back to voters, hoping for different results this time. In October the elementary bond passed, but the numbers came out 1,249 for the high school bond, and 1,333 against.
“Much of the building is just worn out,” says school board trustee Denny Sabo, “repairs on top of repairs don’t last.”
The high school was built in the early 1960s, with new wings added by the end of the decade. The school has had several smaller upgrades: new bathrooms and foyer; new gym bleachers, ceiling and lights; an upgraded heating system; and new football bleachers.
This $11.1-million bond would pay for new science labs, cafeteria, choir room, office space, new classrooms, a weight room, enlarged locker room, renovated art room, computer room and kitchen area. The new class space would enable the district to get rid of the 18-year-old trailer where math classes are currently held. Right now students eat lunch at fold-out tables in the foyer. The gym stage serves as the weight room and the high school shares the elementary school’s choir room.
The bond also would update and enlarge the library, creating a joint school-county library. The school and library boards began mulling the feasibility of this project after $1-million-dollar plans to build a new library fell through.
The Board sent out informational pamphlets throughout the district. The pamphlets detail the cost as being .03658 x Taxable Value of your home. The district stresses that the taxable value is not the same as the market value and give an example of a Flathead County home with a market value of $108,580 having a taxable value of $3,333.40; the cost to this homeowner would be $121.94 for the year.Ballots go out in the mail on Feb. 14, and they’re due back on March 4. The school is happy to give tours, call 837-7400 to schedule a walk-through.
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