Bozeman's public school buildings are slated for more than $3.4 million in repairs this year, which includes installing new roofs, replacing a wooden fort at Longfellow School and moving Bozeman High's tennis courts.
The School Board approved this month on a 5-0 vote a variety of projects that range from plumbing to paint.
The projects will be paid for mainly from building reserve taxes approved in past years by voters for building repairs, plus some Safe Routes to Schools grant money. Another $17 million in projects that fell lower on the priority list won't get done this year.
Two of the most expensive projects will be fixing roofs. It will cost $550,000 at Sacajawea Middle School to replace half of the original roof this summer and $200,000 to complete roof replacement at Whittier School.
One of the most visible projects calls for moving Bozeman High Schools tennis courts and rebuilding them for $500,000. The courts, now located on North 11th Avenue near Bozeman High School's two-story North Classroom Building, will be moved near the South Gym, and rebuilt on the grassy area between Van Winkle football stadium and the parking lot facing Main Street.
The old tennis courts are “beyond economical repair” with a subgrade that keeps failing and causing the court to crack. The new location will be close to concessions, restrooms, the gym and parking. The project will be designed this year and constructed in the summer of 2015.
At Longfellow School, the aging north fort that children have played on for decades is to be removed and partially replaced at a cost of $30,000. Principal Randy Walthall said a team is working on a design to replace the old fort.
In addition, the final phase of Longfellow's two-year, $3.25 million upgrade project is planned, to install modern heating and ventilation systems, an elevator and new energy-efficient windows.
At Bozeman High, expenses will total $1.8 million. Other major repairs include:
- $130,000 to upgrade archaic air ventilation and heating controls for the North and South gyms, weight room and G-wing, which will also improve energy efficiency.
- $45,000 to replace J-wing ventilators.
- $45,000 to rebuild the Swim Center parking lot.
At elementary and middle schools, the plan calls for spending $1.6 million. Projects include:
- $85,000 at Emily Dickinson School to replace a folding gym partition wall.
- $25,000 at Irving School to repair the smaller playground structure and add a swing accessible to students with disabilities.
- $30,000 at Chief Joseph Middle School to install ceiling tiles to improve acoustics.
The district's retiring facilities director, Kevin Barre, worked up the priority list in meetings with other central administrators, principals, custodians and people in charge of Willson Auditorium and the central food preparation building.