Whitefish School Board Sets Bond Request at $14 Million

By Beacon Staff

The Whitefish School Board has approved a plan to float a $14 million bond to help fund a proposed $19 million high school reconstruction project, according to a press release sent out Wednesday.

The bond election will be conducted by mail-in ballot, with ballots mailed to voters on Feb. 28 and due back to Whitefish School District offices no later than March 15.

The $14 million bond will cost the owner of a $250,000 home less than $50 per year, which pencils out to less than $1 per week, the release states.

Also noted in the release is the school district’s “new approach to funding” involving an “innovative strategy of seeking alternative funds before asking voters.” Those alternative funds include a state grant, multiple private donations, city of Whitefish TIF funds and the school district’s own TIF funds.

The district also plans to solicit an additional $500,000 privately for the “specific purpose of completing a performance and assembly hall,” according to the release.

“We decided early on that it was critical that we turn over every rock in search of alternative funds before we sought voter support,” Whitefish High School Principal Dave Carlson said. “The idea is that the voters are investing in the project at a major discount.”

Superintendent Kate Orozco said “we have long had a pressing need to accomplish this important project.”

“To give it the best chance of gaining support,” she added, “we have worked very hard to offer a balanced proposal that not only meets the long-term needs of our students while also offering the voters a cost effective investment that minimizes the cost to them.”

For additional information, contact Bayard Dominick, the project manager, at [email protected] or 250-2920, or Orozco at 862-8640.