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Missoula Schools to Get a $158 Million Face Lift

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The community outreach continues for the “Smart Schools”  2020 Project. Forecasting that by 2024 every school will have an additional 892 students, so with that news the only logical thing is to renovated/expand our schools. 

Rebuilding Franklin Elementary, relocating Cold Springs Elementary and expanding/renovating Lowell Elementary are the top priority schools identified by the Missoula County Public Schools.

The goal is to create safe, 21st century schools. These priorities will be presented to trustees in June. The estimated cost for high and medium priority projects, includes the cost to replace roofs, boilers and heat distribution systems where needed, is estimated at $103 million for K-8 buildings. Unfortunately this amount exceeds the elementary district’s $84,538,920 million bonding capacity and so they will need to cut cost to bring this down.

High school needs though are at a much lower cost, estimated at $55 million, well below its bonding capacity of $129,509,610.

Other top priorities for the next five years include:

• Sell Whittier School.

• Expand Russell Elementary to add classrooms, project areas, music to the main building; add dining/assembly space; improve pick-up/drop-off, bus, delivery and parking areas; create an obvious entrance.

• Expand Rattlesnake Elementary to accommodate classes currently in modular, and use the modular buildings elsewhere in district; improve the entrance.

• Continue leasing the former Prescott School building to Missoula International School.

• Address critical deferred maintenance at the Administrative Building.

After the trustees receive the final recommendations they will continue to make this plan happen. A final proposal for the November 2015 ballot won’t be finalized until next spring.

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