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Due to a lack of space, breakout study groups must share a room with a divider at Eastgate Elementary School. The East Helena Public Schools district expects to reach its maximum enrollment capacity of 1,300 students in a few years.

An update on East Helena School District’s purchase and sale agreement for Dartman Field, a 50-acre parcel contiguous to Radley School, is on the agenda for the board of trustees meeting 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 13, at East Valley Middle School.

“It is simply an update on the status of the process,” said Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer. “How close we are to closing.”

The field, which is contaminated with lead from historic smelting operations, is being donated to the district by the Montana Environmental Trust Group and will require remediation.

The school district has applied for a grant to clean it up and “make it suitable for students,” said Whitmoyer.

Although the land is being donated, the district will be paying $90,000 to cover legal, technical, managerial and third-party costs.

Whitmoyer predicts the agreement could be signed any time before the end of the summer, but he has no firm date.

The 50-acre parcel is intended to accommodate the district’s expansion needs for the next 40 to 50 years, according to information in previous IR articles.

A Great West Engineering report recommended Dartman Field as the best location and most affordable option for the district.

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Other agenda items

In other matters, the Long Term Infrastructure Committee will report to the board about two possible building options for accommodating district growth, which is expected to be at capacity of 1,300 in the next three years.

The options include adding wings to existing school buildings or building a new school.

The board will also hear an update on Smarter Balanced testing results, which are used to measure students’ learning in English arts and math, based on Montana Common Core Standards.

East Valley Middle School is located at 400 Kalispell Ave. N. For more information visit ehps.k12.mt.us

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

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