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Columbia Falls to seek money for school replacement, remodel

Posted at 10:45 AM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 12:45:12-04

COLUMBIA FALLS – The Columbia Falls School District has approved a new building for Glacier Gateway and a remodel for Ruder elementary, pending approval from voters.

Superintendent Steve Bradshaw says the estimated, combined, price of the remodels is $34 million while a bond will go before a town vote this September.

Bradshaw says both schools desperately need new roofs, more space and classrooms.

Right now, Ruder Elementary school’s gym acts as a gym and a lunchroom. Part of the bond money would go towards a separate eating area, but Bradshaw says safety is the school’s biggest concern.

Long hallways, too many doors, and open areas are not safe in case of an active shooter.

“Section off different parts of our building that once you get into the building, if we hit a button we’d have doors that could come down and secure other parts of the building,” Bradshaw explained.

“You hate to think about something like that, but boy you don’t want to do a remodel or build a new building without that in mind,” he added.

Bradshaw says if the bond is passed, Glacier Gateway would be completely rebuilt in a new location behind the school administration building.