This bond calls for the demolition of Smith Elementary and for construction of a 400 seat, $14 million facility in the same location. It is neither necessary or wise. The recent facilities study by Mosaic Architecture described Smith school to be in “overall good” condition, and recommended only minor changes to it. Its immediate enrollment area had 223 students, with no need of 400 seats, nor replacement of the building.

Curiously, this bond also gives lower funding to several of the small neighborhood schools — lower than their needs identified in the Mosaic study. Yet it over-allocates funds to the larger schools by millions of dollars. For instance, Jim Darcy is rebuilt in the Mosaic study at a cost of $11 million, in contrast to $17.9 million in this bond. Hawthorne receives $1.5 million under the study, only $600k under this bond. Broadwater, $3.3 million in the study, only $2.3 million in the bond.

The school board is not heeding their own planning document. They are following an agenda. And trustees are on record — even quoted in the same Independent Record article that originally announced this election — that their long term goal is consolidation.

That’s why we should oppose it.

Keith R. Johnson

Helena

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