Posted on May 21, 2014

Schools hear comment on bond

More than three hours of public comment dominated the first school board meeting to consider a bond proposal that would consolidate Helena’s elementary schools.

For the past few months, trustees have stood by as a work group faltered and superintendent Kent Kultgen unveiled a plan that would close or repurpose Bryant, Hawthorne and Jefferson schools.

Tuesday was the board’s first chance to discuss Kultgen’s latest recommendation, but the meeting offered little indication of where trustees stand.

Read more at the Helena IR

Posted on May 11, 2014

Public input on school plan needed

An IR View

This week Helena citizens finally got a look at a concrete facilities plan for the Helena School District.

The plan, presented Wednesday night by Helena Schools Superintendent Kent Kultgen, calls for investing in eight elementary schools, selling five district buildings and repurposing two buildings. As part of the plan Hawthorne, Bryant and Jefferson would all be closed as elementary schools. Hawthorne and Bryant would be sold. Jefferson would be used for administrative offices and possibly for students from the Project for Alternative Learning or PAL.

Read more at the Helena IR 


Posted on May 8, 2014

Kultgen’s plan would close Bryant, Hawthorne, Jefferson schools

Hawthorne, Bryant and Jefferson Elementary Schools would close, with boundaries for the remaining elementary schools redrafted to more evenly distribute students, under an elementary school bond proposal brought before the school board by Helena School District Superintendent Kent Kultgen.

“The majority, if not all people in Helena, understand we need to do something with our facilities,” Kultgen said. “Academically, we can’t continue the status quo.”

The district would sell five buildings, Hawthorne, Bryant, May Butler, Front Street Learning Center and Ray Bjork, while converting Jefferson to administration offices under the proposal. The remaining eight elementary schools, Jim Darcy, Central, Smith, Kessler, Rossiter, Four Georgians, Warren and Broadwater, would see between $3.4 million and $13.6 million in construction if voters approve a $73 million bond next May.

Kultgen citied statistics showing that the costs will increase each year the district waits to begin construction.

Read more at the Helena IR.

Posted on April 18, 2014

Trustees silent observers as staff, citizens work on school closure strategy

As parents, educators and community members put their heads together in search of a solution to Helena’s aging schools, members of the board of trustees have watched from the sidelines.

Trustees will have the final say on a bond proposal that’s poised to carry a record-breaking price tag. But on Wednesday they sat in the bleachers of a gymnasium at C.R. Anderson, serving as close observers — and cheerleaders — of the process the district has entrusted to a group of staff and citizens.

Read More at the Helena IR