SAINT IGNATIUS – The Saint Ignatius School District has quietly built a resume of academic excellence—and it’s ready to take that success to the next level.
But it’s going to need a little help from the voters, and hope the third time is the charm for a multi-million dollar bond that would bring career opportunities to the classroom.
Saint Ignatius School Superintendent Jason Sargent is proud of the plans he hopes will give students here more options for their future.
The District is asking voters to pass a 5.6 million dollar bond that will do several things. The most significant is the creation of a career and technical center for classes including welding, plumbing, culinary arts, early childhood education.
“So the Career and Technology Education Center will be focused on future careers that our students, [who] I believe, are deserving of the same opportunity that other schools in the area have and we need. I’m really passionate about this part of it,” Sargent said.
The other part of the bond covers the building a new gym since the floor of one gym never gets cold – it’s in constant use with at least nine different teams a day practicing here not to mention actual games where there aren’t enough locker rooms.
Early practices encroach on sleep, late practice interferes with study time — and there’s also a safety issue.
“We’ve had it expressed to us by numerous parents, why does my child have to come to a 6:00 a.m. practice? Why do they have to be here until 8:30 at night. I don’t feel comfortable having my kids drive in the dark,” St. Ignatius High School Principal Shawn Hendrickson said.
The plan is to build a new gym with lockers rooms and bathrooms to take the pressure of the practice schedule.
The last time a school bond issue passed for Saint Ignatius Schools was in the early 1980’s.
This is the third time they’re asking for this particular bond to be passed. They hope people see it as not just an investment in the school, but in the entire community.
School leaders know what they’re asking of voters but bond issues tend to get more expensive as the years pass but feel this plan will benefit students for decades.
“We’re looking long term. We’re hoping not to have to make small, minor fixes and do things piecemeal,” Hendrickson said. “We’re hoping to have this be a long-term commitment to the future of the kids of Saint Ignatius.”
“It is a huge sacrifice and we understand that but we feel our students are worth that sacrifice and we believe in what we’re doing and we believe it’s worth the amount we’re asking,” Sargent said.
The bond also includes some improvements to the elementary and middle school.
There are two community meetings scheduled before the election to talk about the bond. The first will be on Oct. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Middle School Commons with the other meeting scheduled for Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. in the Middle School Commons and will also involve a tour.
Click here for more information on the school bond request.