Rossiter Elementary is the Helena School District’s largest site by acreage, but the school is in need of a new boiler, asbestos abatement and accessibility to the playground for students with disabilities.
Those were three of the needs noted in a facility assessment report presented by John Carter, director of support services, at a board work session held Tuesday night at Rossiter.
The 43,790-square-foot school sits on more than 31 acres on Sierra Road and was originally built in 1966. In addition to the 483 students who attend the school and its 64 employees, the north valley school houses a Head Start program where nearly 40 students go to preschool.
The building is 75 percent of the recommended size according to Wyoming’s education standards, which the district uses since Montana doesn’t have its own established standards. The assembly and administrative space is adequate, but the classroom space is 73 percent of what Wyoming recommends.
The lone boiler for the building is running at a 65 percent efficiency rate.
“That’s not really where we want to be,” Carter said, adding that he considers the boiler for hot water heat a priority to upgrade.
The school’s ventilation, like most Helena schools, does not meet current ventilation standards and the electrical and plumbing aspects of the building are at the end of their service life.
The roof will need replacement in the next six to 10 years and is estimated to cost between $490,000 and $635,000.
The building has asbestos, which is always a consideration when discussing improvements, Carter noted.
The playground has accessibility issues as well as the modular building where music classes are held. Carter said sometimes services are brought to children when accessibility issues arise.
The estimated total cost of improvements is between $2.8 million and $3.63 million over the next 10 to 15 years.
Facility assessments are presented at schools every month this year as way for the district to determine its building needs. Next month an assessment on Jim Darcy is scheduled.
Alana Listoe: 447-4081 or firstname.lastname@example.org