MCPS Superintendent Mark Thane Adds Details on Proposed Cold Springs School Project
One small part of Tuesday's election was the choice to allow the Missoula County School District the power to negotiate the price and terms for the new Cold Springs School location in Lower Miller Creek.
MCPS Superintendent Mark Thane was at the Missoula County Fairgrounds Election Center to check up on the initial numbers handed out by supervisor Rebecca Connors, and the results were heavily in favor of allowing the project to go forward.
"We already had the funding in place for both construction of the school and acquisition of the property," Thane said. "State statute requires that you identify via legal description or an address that you're contemplating building a facility upon."
Thane said the selling price is listed at $500,000, and the monies have already been obtained as part of the $158 million combined school bond issue in 2014, and the schedule to start building the new school has been approved.
"At the school board meeting about two hours ago they approved hiring the architect, and we will anticipate going over design development over the next few months, begin construction sometime in the summer of 2017, with a target occupancy of 2018," he said. "We'll target a population of approximately 500 students , but we will plan to add on in the future."
Thane addressed the issue of traffic density, considering there is only one road into and out of the area, utilizing the Miller Creek Road roundabout, and that residents in the area are concerned about a major increase in traffic during rush hour.
"That's a concern that's been raised by several community members," Thane said. "Right now, about 60 percent of Cold Springs School students already travel through that roundabout through Linda Vista and Miller Creek to access the current school site. so, we'll essentially be flipping that in that now 60 percent of those students will stay home in their neighborhood. We do understand that it's a concern to many parents. I know that there's been a discussion with the city that the roundabout was conceived with the possibility of making it two lanes, and I know there's been discussions about a bridge across the Bitterroot River, but right now those conversations seem to be pretty quiet."