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Stevensville School to show final designs, answer questions about construction

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Posted at 2:42 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 22:08:54-05

STEVENSVILLE — The Stevensville School District is about to launch its massive construction project for high school and elementary upgrades following months of planning and permitting.

Two different bonds were approved by voters last November; a $6.3 million measure for major upgrades to Stevensville Elementary School and a $14.1 million bond for upgrades to the high school.

The initial construction work is now expected to start in April. School administrators have worked all winter long to get to this point, where the final designs are nearly complete.

"We've worked extensively with the architects, MMW Architects out of Missoula, upon the passage of the bond,” Stevensville School Superintendent Bob Moore said. “Of course, you have the bond sale with D.A. Davidson, our bond counsel. A lot of wheels moving in the picture of what we're trying to get done in that time."

Now with the plans mapped out, the building team will meet with the public, staff, and students, Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Building "D" to go over what happens next.

"They're going to go through when the construction will begin, what the phasing looks like, what the timeline looks like. What it will do to traffic patterns, what it will do inside the school,” Moore told MTN News.

In a nutshell, site prep work starts in April, with major work this summer. Next school year will see the most disruption. The work includes the new Tech Center on the northeastern side of campus, extensive upgrades to remove obstacles for efficiency and security.

Stevensville Schools anxious to start on major campus upgrade
Stevensville School leaders are anxious to get rolling on a multi-million dollar re-building and reconfiguration of campus. (MTN News photo)

Finally, if money allows add-ons will be done to enclose students when they go between buildings, which is better for safety and health.

"We know that these were the construction estimates. If they come in low, we can do a little more, take care of some of the alternate bids,” Moor explained. “If they come in high some of those alternate bids will have to be taken off the table and deferred down the road."

In addition to the major construction projects, there will be other work underway on campus at the same time. That's being paid for with deferred maintenance funds and is not a part of the bond issues.

"The district was holding some deferred maintenance money that we received from the state, and have saved to try to accomplish those projects but we wanted to see what would happen with the bonds first before we apportioned that money where it needed to be,” Moore state.

"So, we'll have a replacement of a gym roof that will go on concurrently, with some of this construction. But it has nothing to do with the bond."

With the work set to run through next school year -- and completion in the fall of 2021 -- Moore says the district is still working to iron out what the calendar will look like once that construction timeline is complete.

Click here for more information on the projects taking place.