Jim Darcy Elementary School

Jim Darcy Elementary School, built in 1965, with additions in 1969 and 1977, also has four modular buildings dating from 2002 to 2015. It is named after a Helena war hero Jim Darcy, who was a pilot during the Vietnam War. He was killed while flying on a mission to save several soldiers when his aircraft was shot down. The school was annexed in 1985.

Gary Marshall, BMGphotos.com

Four neighborhood meetings with the four architects hired to provide pre-bond services for Helena Public Schools kick off in the first week of April.

Helena Public Schools voters will cast their ballots on a $63 million bond issue to build three new K-5 schools at the sites of Jim Darcy and Central school campuses and on or in the near vicinity of Bryant School. The bond will also make technology and security upgrades at all the K-8 schools, including the two middle schools.

“First of all, our intention is to reach out to those neighborhoods and invite a number of people from those neighborhoods where the schools will be built and anyone else who would like to attend,” said school district Superintendent Jack Copps.

“Secondly, our intent is to introduce those architects who have been assigned to particular schools.”

“And, most importantly (it’s) to create an environment where there’s good interaction between the audience and the architect regarding different ... ideas they may have concerning the design and layout of the school and a number of other things.”

The architects will also likely discuss putting together a rough schedule of how work will proceed for that school area.

Typically the design phase takes six months, said Copps, and construction is another 12 to 18 months.

CWG architects will hold the first meeting to discuss K-8 technology and security upgrades for all the K-8 buildings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 3, at Helena Middle School Auditorium, 1025 N. Rodney.

On Tuesday, April 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. DSA holds a community meeting at Jim Darcy School gym, 900 Lincoln Road W.

Mosaic Architecture holds a Bryant School neighborhood meeting, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, at the Helena High School cafeteria, 1300 Billings Ave.

Central School neighborhood meets with architects from SMA from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at First Baptist Church, 201 8th Ave.

Reporter Marga Lincoln can be reached at 447-4083 or marga.lincoln@helenair.com

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