Educators looking forward to district wide renovations
The Helena School District Board approved Mosaic Architecture's plan for district-wide renovations this week.
The initial planning phase lasted more than a year. Beartooth NBC's Kelley Smith talked to some Helena educators who say they are excited for the next steps of the process to start.
Under the plan, Bryant Elementary School will be one of the first facilities to see a change. The school is scheduled to be completely rebuilt. Principal Nick Radley says the structure is in desperate need of an upgrade.
Radley says, "The roof was leaking. We have drain water that sometimes comes into the building, those are all things we have to make do with.”
He says currently, the school's condition is not the best environment for learning.
Radley says, "You know we have a narrow stairway. We have students in a room without windows.”
Meanwhile, Helena High School will undergo structural renovations. Principal Steve Thennis says overcrowding is a serious problem, with more than one thousand students having their lunch break at the same time.
Thennis says, "1,600 kids sitting on the floor eating lunch just isn’t acceptable."
Helena High isn’t the only school experiencing capacity problems with, Jim Darcy Elementary School is also pushing its capacity. Principal Brian Cummings says he expects the school's population to continue to grow.
Cummings says, "Next year I’ll be adding on a new first grade. The year after that I’ll be adding a third second grade so by that time I’ll be at an enrollment of close to 344 students where our capacity is 260."
Jim Darcy Elementary will be rebuilt in a new location. The road to change is a long one, but that hasn’t discouraged these principals' excitement.
Thennis says, "I keep looking out the windows waiting for the trucks to show up and start digging tomorrow."
Or stopped their passion and enthusiasm to help their students grow and learn. Helena Schools' Superintendent Kent Kultgen says he expects the projects will break ground this coming year.
Story by Kelley Smith, Beartooth NBC.
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