Missoula Public Schools Identify Over $150 Million in Facilities Upgrades [AUDIO]
After over a year and a half of study, the Missoula County Public Schools Facilities Strategic Plan Steering Committee recommended to the school board on Monday night over $150 million in building upgrades and repairs to existing schools.
Director of Communications and Public Relations, Hatton Littman said in a live interview on KGVO Radio on Tuesday morning, that each of the district's schools have been planning and designing changes necessary to make their schools safe and effective for an expected increase in enrollment.
"The steering committee's goal was to take all the requests made by each school and the dollar figures associated with them, and rank those in high, medium, and low priorities," Littman said. "Naturally, because of the increased enrollment we're anticipating, the elementary schools went into that high priority category. Projects that need to be addressed right away, given that 2017 is when we'll start feeling that pinch with increasing enrollment."
Littman identified some of the high priority schools on the list.
"Certainly, Cold Springs, Lowell, Franklin Elementary and Rattlesnake Elementary, schools that already have modular buildings, schools that have such dramatic physical plant needs that they may require a new school building located on a different site, or a significant renovation to the building that's on its current site," Littman said. "Right now, we're looking at over $103 million for improving our K-8 district, and currently our state bonding limit is only about $85 million, so we know we need to continue to trim our requests to fit within our state limit."
The high school improvements amount to about $55 million.
Littman said the next step is to present their plans to another board meeting in June.
"The draft report will identify the priorities that the steering committee has continued to work on," Littman said. "It will identify the total costs that'll go before the taxpayers, and we'll continue to educate people between now and next January, when the board will look hard at whether or not they will or will not put a bond before taxpayers in the fall of 2015."