Stevensville Schools anxious to start on major campus upgrade

Posted at 6:50 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 20:52:58-04

STEVENSVILLE – Armed with the go-ahead from voters, Stevensville School leaders are anxious to get rolling on a multi-million dollar re-building and reconfiguration of campus, the largest education project in decades.

However, there are a lot of details and designs ahead. Plus, timing the project to keep from disrupting students and teachers.

With an immediate win for both bond issues being posted on the board, it was all about celebrating and smiles Tuesday night.

“The high school needs it so much. And the primary does as well. It’s just that it’s been so long and there’s no reason to not pass this. I’m just so excited,” said Stevensville School Board member Sarah Armijo.

The victory comes a year after two similar proposals narrowly failed, and a complete re-working of the plans to provide major safety, infrastructure and efficiency upgrades on the campus in Stevensville.

“Anytime you go out to the community and you ask their opinion you have to be willing to make changes. And we listened to what the community had to say and we looked at those surveys very closely,” Stevensville School Superintendent Dr. Robert Moore said.

“And the board selected the top picks from that survey and obviously it had a large effect on the voter turnout, and on the results,” he added.

“We had so many community members come out and join the political action committee last year and this year. And I think all their efforts combined really make a big impact, being able to educate people and share all this information,” Armijo told MTN News.

“So a huge, huge thank you. I’ve been thanking them all day, regardless of the results. Seeing our community come together, businesses posting signs, seeing our school colors along Main Street has just been phenomenal,” she added.

While the euphoria continued today, there’s already the question of “now what” for Stevensville School leaders. As soon as the election results are certified, the district will press ahead with selling the bonds, and then design.

“Of course you have to contact your bond counsel and the agency that sells your bonds. And you have an election timeline that you have to wait and make sure there are no challenges to the election,” Dr. Moore said.

But simultaneously you’re working with the architects and the board and your community and executing the plan,” he added.

That will likely take the rest of this year, and even into 2020. But just as with the efforts to redesign the bond proposals, the school board is promising plenty of chances for staff, parents and the community at large to be involved.

“It has to go through a bid process. Then the phasing of the project begins. Because you can’t tear apart a building when you have students in the building,” Dr. Moore said.

“Remodels are very tough because your students are in the middle of your remodel and so, it may take into next summer or even longer to get everything done,” he continued.

“Because there’s a lot of fine details in individual classrooms and things like that we need to hear from our staff about exactly what they need and work with them directly. That’ll be great,” Armijo said.

Click here to learn more about what will be happening now that the two bonds are approved, we have a link to the Stevensville School bonds information page on our website.