Somers-Lakeside Voters Approve $15.8 Million School Bond

The mail-in ballot election ended Oct. 24 and 958 people voted in favor and 870 were opposed

By Dillon Tabish
Somers Middle School on May 24, 2016. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The Somers-Lakeside School District will move forward with rebuilding part of Somers Middle School after voters approved a $15.8 million bond request.

The mail-in ballot election ended Oct. 24 and 958 people voted in favor and 870 were opposed to the school district’s request, according to the school district.

The 20-year bond will pay to replace parts of the middle school that were built in 1953 and have become antiquated and plagued with persistent maintenance needs. The middle school, with an enrollment of 180 students, has aging infrastructure in two of its oldest sections. One section, the original school, was built in 1953. The second addition was built in 1967, including the carpeted gym. The bond will fund replacing the two older sections with a new facility that would include updated classrooms and shop space. The total square footage of the school will grow from 33,633 square feet to 57,090.

The goal is to have the entire renovation project completed by 2020.

With the passage of the bond, property taxes will increase roughly $160 annually on a home with a taxable value of $200,000, according to school officials.

“The community recognized that at some point, having such an old building becomes more of a liability,” Superintendent Joe Price said. “It’s hard to repair and maintain a structure from 1953. It really was time to do something and certainly we appreciate that the community stepped up to do that.”

The school district will select an architectural firm in the coming months to design the specific renovations and prepare for construction.

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