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.
GROUP HAS NO RECOMMENDATION FOR TRUSTEES, JUST INFORMATION
Deliberations of the special work group convened to examine Helena school closures and expansions ended much like they began: in a circle. Round and round the microphone went between the 35 parents, teachers, principals and community members as they sought consensus on a bond plan that would provide funds to overhaul the district’s 11 elementary and two middle schools.
NO CONSENSUS REACHED ON WHICH SCHOOLS TO CLOSE OR EXPAND
With their deadline to deliver a school bond proposal looming, members of the Helena community work group are confused and frustrated. The committee still hasn’t reached consensus on which elementary schools should close and which should be expanded after holding its sixth of seven scheduled meetings Wednesday evening.
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