Posted on December 26, 2014

Possible plan includes modular classrooms on Central campus for eight to ten years

For one potential solution to get displaced Central School students back to their neighborhood school, Superintendent Kent Kultgen is proposing building modular classrooms to house students for eight to 10 years.

Students in the Central Elementary School boundary have been attending the Lincoln campus since March 2013 when Central was closed after a report revealed the building had inadequate structural integrity.

In early December, the Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees Facility Committee rolled out a long-range facility vision that aims to solve overflow and building degradation issues facing Helena schools. Part of that vision calls for renovating Helena Middle School into an elementary school that would serve students consolidated from nearby elementary campuses.

According to the vision, a renovated HMS would not be ready for elementary students for eight to ten years. At its December meeting, the school board tasked Kultgen to develop scenarios that would eventually meet the vision.

One of those scenarios is to build multiple modular classrooms that would house the entire Central student population until Helena Middle School is renovated and ready for students, Kultgen said.

Read more at the Helena IR here.

Posted on September 19, 2014

Committee postpones application to demolish Central School

The Helena Public Schools Facility Committee decided at its meeting Friday morning to delay the application to demolish Central Elementary School and Seventh Avenue Gym.

The application for demolition, which was the original reason to cancel the district’s bond proposal and has been a source of controversy among preservationists, was restricting the school board’s ability to move forward, the committee decided.

Read more at the Helena IR

Posted on September 19, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: Helena School District to Hold Off on Central School Demolition Application

The Helena School District will postpone submitting an application for the demolition of Central School and the 7th Avenue Gym at this time. After careful consideration, it was decided to delay an application for the following reasons:

 Allows time to better define the City ordinance
 Provides communication opportunities to take place with all stakeholders, including the City, architects, and historical professionals

Read full press release here: Application Central Demolition Press Release Sept 2014

Posted on August 20, 2014

Officials will discuss proposal for Central School demolition

Members of the Lewis & Clark County Historic Preservation Commission will meet Tuesday evening with Helena school district officials to discuss requirements for submitting a demolition application for Central School.

One part of Superintendent Kent Kultgen’s proposal suggests demolishing Central School and the Seventh Avenue Gymnasium. Before the board of trustees can execute that plan, they must submit an application to city officials for approval.

Go to KXLH to read more.

Posted on August 20, 2014

Commission calls for more information in application to demolish Central

The Lewis and Clark County Historic Preservation Commission called on the Helena School District at its meeting Tuesday night to answer several questions regarding the demolition of Central School and Seventh Avenue Gym in addition to the requirements outlined by the ordinance.

Dick Alberts, the chairman of the commission, said that the commission is in a unique situation because its mandate is to preserve history, but it also needs to fairly consider the school district’s request for demolition.

Read more at the IR here

Posted on July 24, 2014

School bond under time crunch if city votes no


After the Helena School Board of Trustees voted to cancel the proposed bond election on July 15, it must now decide what to do if the city commission does not approve the demolition of Central School, upon which the proposal hinges.

The cancellation of the bond was meant to allow the commission time to make a decision regarding the demolition of Central School and Seventh Avenue Gym, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The board canceled the bond because it legally cannot “postpone” an election, but trustees have stated that they will put forward the same bond language for an election if the city approves demolition.

Read more at the IR 

Posted on July 16, 2014

Board of Trustees Cancels Bond Election

The Helena Board of Trustees decided to take a step back and cancel the 48 million dollar elementary bond election during a meeting Tuesday night.

Superintendent Kent Kultgen says the board must wait for the city commission to approve the district’s plan on demolishing the Central School location and the Seventh Avenue gymnasium before putting the proposal in front of voters.

Go to Beartooth NBC for more 

Posted on June 29, 2014

Elementary bond proposal is best way forward for school district

Helena IR Your Turn, by the Helena Board of Trustees

After years of community conversations and district analysis, the Helena School Board took an important first step this week in the long process of tackling pressing facility needs in our elementary schools. We trustees voted unanimously to present an elementary bond to voters this fall. If the bond passes, 41 percent of our K-5 students will learn in new or remodeled schools at Jim Darcy, Central and Warren by 2016. In addition, every K-8 student will have access to adequate technology by fall 2015.

Read More

Posted on June 23, 2014

School Board Could Vote on Bond This Week

A bond election for the Helena School District could be called as early as Wednesday  when trustees hold another meeting to discuss and possibly vote on projects to be include in an elementary bond proposal.

Read more at the Helena IR.

Posted on June 11, 2014

Central-Linc ‘school bus’ takes new tack


Two dozen parents and children used their morning walk to Central-Linc Elementary Tuesday to say they think Helenans should consider all students, not just their neighborhood school, before opposing the consolidation of district elementary schools.

Responding to the “Save Our Neighborhood Schools” rallies that have been held recently at three other schools, the demonstrators held signs with messages such as “It’s not just about your school” and “Don’t support the few at the expense of all.”

“I think too many people are focusing on protecting their school, when in fact what we need to be doing is thinking about all the children’s welfare in the entire district,” said parent Kyle Strode.

Read more at the Helena IR