NewsLocal NewsRavalli County

Actions

Superintendent responds to failure of Hamilton school bond and levy fail

Hamilton Middle School
Posted at 5:19 PM, May 05, 2023

HAMILTON - School bonds and levy were voted on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, and the bond and levy the Hamilton School District proposed failed.

“It definitely tells the story that the board has to come back along with me and come up with a plan to address I think the key concerns from the community. First, figure out what those concerns are and why we weren't successful and come up with a better plan,” said Hamilton Superintendent Tom Korst.

The bond for $69 million was meant to build a new middle school and have improvements made to the high school. While the new middle school is still operational, the building is starting to show its age at over a hundred years old.

“There's really no impending deadline. The middle school will still be in operation, we’ll do the best we can with the resources we have to keep it a good environment. But as far as next steps it's going to take us some time to do this right,” Korst said.

Currently, some of the classrooms in the second building known as the pod do not have any windows, and there is no playground for the students to play on. There is a concrete slab that was once used as a parking lot when the middle school was still a high school.

“The middle school's been a problem for some time since 1970 when the pod was open and the high school became a middle school you know there’s a lot going on there [that] we have to resolve and make sure the community [and] understand we got to the place we are,” Korst explained.

It’s unknown what the exact reasons why the community voted down the bond and levy, but the school board and Superintendent Korst will continue to meet and discuss options and listen to what else could be done to solve the problem of an aging school.

“It’s the first time that a bond this size has been run. There’s been a real gap between when the current high school was constructed at 13 million which probably seemed like a lot at that time and now one that’s closer to 55 million for a new middle school. I think it’s probably the first time people have seen those kinds of numbers in this community ever,” Korst said.

At this time it is not known when the school board will rerun the bond.