Monforton School District - Bond proposed for expansion
September 23, 2015
Posted By: Shaunescy
The Monforton School District Board of Trustees will be asking voters to approve a $7.1 million bond to build a new middle school building on Circle F Trail this fall. The building will be approximately 30,000 square feet.
A planning team composed of residents and business community members helped update the District Master Plan with Comma-Q Architecture over the past year, identifying a new middle school as a building priority. In addition, the 2015 Legislature passed House Bill 373, which increased school districts’ bonding capacity from 50% to 100% of the district’s taxable valuation. Monforton School Superintendent Darren Strauch said, “HB 373 has given a much needed boost for schools all across Montana dealing with rapidly increasing enrollment and aging facility concerns.”
Since Strauch was hired in July 2012, Monforton’s enrollment has swelled from 250 students to over 425 students at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. “We have had two expansion projects in the past five years totaling $6.4 million to add 10 new classrooms, a new lunchroom/kitchen, and various education and administrative support spaces as well as providing an update of the building’s HVAC system. Each time we have completed a project, we have been full to capacity within the year.”
The District completed a growth study in 2012 to prepare for the last building expansion. Estimates for enrollment conservatively predict student numbers to hit 474 by 2018 and 569 by 2023. “The District’s hope is to take one large step and build for the future, instead of building to just keep up. Building this middle school should accommodate district enrollment growth for at least seven or eight years.”
“There are houses where there used to be fields. Almost 1,200 lots have been planned in Four Corners. We gain one student on average from every three houses, so our current facility will not be equipped to handle all of the anticipated new students without passage of this bond and support for the building project.”
Superintendent Strauch said, “The District has been anticipating the continued renovation and expansion for some years now. It has gathered nearly $920,000 in voluntary mitigation fees from generous developers and close to $518,000 of these funds have been used to help defray the total cost of the project.”
District residents can find more information about the bond election on the school’s website, monfortonschool.org . Election day is September 29th. The Gallatin County Election Office will send out mail ballots on September 9th.
If you want more information about the tax impact of the bonds (in general or specific to you), call the Superintendent’s office at 586-1557, or e-mail email@example.com
Additional information can be found at www.monfortonschool.org and www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Monforton/148587222007775