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Fate of Canyon Elementary School in Hungry Horse still in question

Posted at 3:15 PM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 17:15:42-05

HUNGRY HORSE – Canyon Elementary School closed its doors to classes during the school year of 2010-2011.

Superintendent Steve Bradshaw tells us that budgetary concerns were the original reason the school was shut down.

Before it closed, 106 students were in attendance, while the building was designed to hold 250.

With a yearly cost of almost a $1 million, keeping the building running was not sustainable. Bradshaw tells us the closing of the school seven years ago did not settle well with parents as the location of Canyon Elementary is a significant drive out of town. Several other local elementary schools are located in downtown Columbia Falls.

However, as a promise made to parents, the district is getting community feedback to gauge interest levels on re opening the school.

“Right now, I’ve got a survey out to the community, I think I’ve got about 59 or 60 responses from people and it’s split 50/50 whether they would send their kids back to the Canyon school or keep them down here,” Bradshar said.

Bradshaw continues to say the building would still need between 150 to 200 students, as well as numerous staff, to make re-opening the school financially feasible.

While the district waits to decide whether or not classes will be taught again in the Canyon Elementary School building, the building itself remains in use. It serves as the community health center and church groups have been utilizing the space for various meetings.