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A CWG Architects rendering of a new East Helena School.

A CWG Architects rendering of a new East Helena elementary school entry.

Voters approved a $12 million facilities bond to build a new school for first and second graders in East Helena, according to unofficial results. 

Of the total votes cast, 1,951 voted yes and 942 voted no.

School district Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer said he's thrilled to see an outpouring of support from the community.

“This really is a huge testament to the trust the community has in our school board’s visionary thinking,” he said.

Whitmoyer said the bond will allow the district to continue the high quality education it’s become known for.

The tax impact for the 20-year bond works out to $4.07 per month for a house valued at $100,000. The average home in East Helena is valued at $135,000, which would be a school tax of $5.50 per month.

The new school with 20 classrooms, a gym and a computer lab would be built on Dartman Field, next to Radley school. Once a new school is built, there would be eight available at Eastgate and Radley. It will also pay for an additional five classrooms at East Valley Middle School and updates to the Radley School cafeteria.

The East Helena school district has 1,201 students and is quickly nearing its maximum enrollment of 1,300.

Before the election, Whitmoyer told the Independent Record there is room for fewer than 20 new students at Eastgate and fewer than 10 at Radley School. East Valley Middle School would reach capacity with 50 additional students.

The school board plans to use CWG Architects and Dick Anderson Construction for the project, with a goal to break ground in July and finish by August 2018.

East Helena started planning for an expansion in 2007. There are several subdivisions in the area with 60 to 70 new homes per year. The district estimates there will be 14 to 17 new students per year.


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