Clinton Elementary School asking for $4M bond for classrooms, new gym

Posted at 5:49 PM, Oct 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-01 15:13:29-04

CLINTON – It was built back in 1895 when it had only four classrooms, and kids would come to school on horseback.

Today, the Clinton School District is still going strong. And with an eye to the future, they’re hoping voters say yes to a bond to make improvements 40 years in the making.

Kids can’t help but give Clinton school Superintendent Tom Stack a high five in the hallways. The independent school district is close-knit and a major part of the Clinton and Turah communities.

The school board hopes voters will say yes to a $4 million bond this coming Election Day to build four new classrooms, get rid of the old portables and build a new gym that doesn’t have to double as a lunchroom.

“The big thing is we’d like to get everybody under one roof and so we don’t have kids transitioning back from PE or lunch or art of music or special education, whatever reason back and forth constantly, so every kid under one roof, one entry,” said Clinton School Superintendent Tom Stack.

The board, the PTA and other stakeholders in this district took a hard look at the numbers to make sure they didn’t ask for too little money or too much. They feel this $4 million bond fits the future in terms of growth and growing educational opportunities.

“We have been talking about this with the stakeholders in our community for about six years about the size of our school, where we are, what our future looks like now,” Stack said. “We did a study about what our population was going to be, supposed to be 165 to 170 this year, but we’re holding solid at 195 students.”

The school board has been conservative about asking voters for extra money. It even finds grants to help fund things like after-school programs. But there haven’t been any major improvements to the school grounds in 44 years, and many feel that it’s time.

“Anybody anymore is concerned about increased taxes, especially in Missoula County, hit hard by entities whether open space or the library or Missoula County Public Schools so we understand that but we also think this has a direct impact on this community here,” Stack said.

They’ve been very transparent about the efforts through a Facebook and a webpage dedicated to bond information that includes a calculator for voters to know just how much a yes vote will impact their taxes.

“It’s been a good process, we feel confident,” Stack said. “We feel there are a lot of people in this community behind us and 44 years is a long time not to do anything to a building.”