LOLO. - It's back to school for many districts in Western Montana, but not quite for Lolo School.
That's because K-through-eighth-grade students have a new school to call home and many of them got to check it out at an open house on Wednesday evening.
Lolo School Superintendent Dale Olinger had a few comments for a full gym during a grand opening celebration as people had the chance to see where the future of their town will be going to school.
“Today, with you all here, with our staff, our families, our students, and our community,” Olinger said. “Today, this building becomes a school.”
The $29.6 million school became a reality after voters passed a bond in September 2020. Originally funded for $22 million, the district used federal money, local donations — and the proceeds from the sale of the old school property to make up the difference.
Administrators told MTN News that the new Lolo School on Farm Lane is also a community investment, with things like a library, where after hours, people can come in and check out books.
Students like first grader Christopher will be able to have an easier time learning, “I like the school not because of how it looks, but because how nice the teachers are.”
It’s not just a nice-looking building. Previously, teachers had to work in classrooms with electrical issues or send students to bathrooms that sometimes didn’t work.
Fifth-grade teacher Abby Finlay says she was stunned to see how ice her new classroom is.
“I’m still in shock. I’m still coming in excited, and it’s just going to help learning and teaching be even more exciting.”
New students won’t need to wait long to become the first class of Lolo Lynx. The first day of classes at the new school is on September 5.