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East Helena Schools Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer

East Helena Schools Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer

Thom Bridge,thom.bridge@helenair.com

East Helena Public Schools' architects say it would cost $29.5 million to build a new high school there. 

During its regular meeting on Monday, the East Helena school board will consider a resolution to include this amount in the ballot language for a May 8 bond election.

Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer said the amount was recently determined, and there are still a lot of details to finalize, such as the location, visual designs to share with the community and how much the bond would cost taxpayers based on their home value.

The amount could be altered slightly by the board before Feb. 27, but SMA architects came up with the cost and Whitmoyer said he thinks it will stick.

“We’re fairly confident that will be a solid number for us,” he said.

The $29.5 million will include building the high school and space for athletics,” Whitmoyer said.

And while school district officials plan to host events to give the community a chance to comment, Whitmoyer said they’ll likely wait until the architects complete initial designs of the building.

“This is a number that is solid to build a reasonable building that will not have a lot of extras, but it will fundamentally serve the academic purpose of our kids into the future,” he said.

If the bond passes, the building will be constructed with the opportunity to expand in years to come and will be structured to last 100 years, Whitmoyer said.

Whitmoyer said the district will keep the community informed on events for public comment, especially once the tax impact is more clear.

“We’re still not ready to have good solid numbers on what this is going to mean for impact on taxpayers. There are a lot of variables yet,” he said.

The East Helena school board will meet Monday, Feb. 12, at 5:30 p.m. in the Eastgate Elementary School Library.

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Education / Business Reporter

Education and Business Reporter for The Independent Record.

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