Preparations for Bozeman’s eighth elementary school are moving forward on several fronts, with goals of breaking ground in August and opening the school by the spring of 2014.
Gallatin County commissioners on Tuesday approved adjusting a lot line so landowners Vesta Anderson and Baxter Ranch Holding Ltd. can divide their 80 acres and sell 40 acres at Durston and Cottonwood roads to the school district.
Bozeman school voters OK’d the land purchase and passed a $26 million bond issue in May, with most of the money slated to build a new school.
To annex the land into the city of Bozeman, the school district has agreed to street and trail improvements that are likely to cost at least $500,000, said Kevin Barre, school facilities director.
The district agreed to develop a pathway for students walking to school, from Flanders Mill Road east to Ferguson Avenue, Barre said. The path will cross private and church land.
The school district will also have to improve streets and install sidewalks. Flanders Mill will be developed into a standard city street from Durston Road north to the end of the school property, Barre said.
The school district also agreed to build sidewalks on the school side of Flanders Mill Road and on Durston Road from Flanders Mill to Cottonwood Road.
Work also is underway to sell bonds to raise the money for the project, and to prepare bid packages for site work and buying steel and masonry block.
This is probably a good time to build, when there aren’t a lot of private construction projects, Barre said. He guessed the school project would create 50 to 100 jobs.
Originally the School Board wanted to put the project on a fast-track, so it could open by August 2013, to reduce the impact of crowding on students and teachers.
However, to make that happen would have required spending substantial amounts of money before the May election. School officials decided it would be prudent to wait and make sure voters would approve the project.
That means the school probably won’t open until spring of 2014, though a formal schedule hasn’t yet been set.
The school district is working with the same team that built Hyalite school in 2009 — Langlas & Associates, the general contractor and construction manager, and Prugh & Lenon Architects.
Gail Schontzler can be reached at email@example.com and 582-2633.