MISSOULA — Voters passed a $6 million school bond last November to improve DeSmet School's infrastructure and on Thursday, leaders broke ground for the new facilities.
The project includes constructing a new cafeteria, gym, and junior high wing as well as expanding the library. Builders are also adding 50-to-60 attainably-priced homes on an empty lot on school property.
Principal Matt Driessen says the school has been hoping to expand for years and is excited to keep up with a growing community.
"If we're going to build the kind of community where people want to stay and raise their children, let's put in the homes, and lets put in a school next to it. Let's make the kind of community where someone can live, work and learn, all within walking distance."
Dreissen says on average Desmet has around 110 students. Construction for the project should all be completed in about 18 months.