GFPS facilities update plan about $102 million - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

GFPS facilities update plan about $102 million

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GREAT FALLS -

Last night, Great Falls school trustees learned that it will cost about $102 million to update their facilities.  That's about $8 million more than what the board initially projected.

Great falls public school trustees have a long road ahead before making a finalized plan to update its school facilities. A plan that consists of a laundry list of renovations.

So what does this mean for taxpayers?

Based on the bond rates presented by D.A. Davidson, a $100 million bond for 30 years would cost about $81 per year for a home valued at 100-thousand dollars.

"The board will have to make some decisions now that we have a truer number, and we're not done yet,” GFPS Superintendent Tammy Lacey said, “It's just a really broad estimate for great falls high school so more discussions there."

The board also discussed the idea of using or swapping city park space, like north Kiwanis Park, to build the new Roosevelt Elementary School, along with acquiring Kranz Park that would be used by Great Falls High School.

City Parks and Recreation director Joseph Petrella said these parks serve dense areas, and are critical components to those communities.

"We don’t want to get rid of park land and have kid walking five to six intersections just to get to a park,” Petrella said. “The goal is to be in close proximity to your neighborhood."

Superintendent Lacey said the board only entertained the idea of using park space because members of the public suggested it.

"We were looking at land that the school district owns--that was our original plan,” Lacey said. “But the public said to explore this to look at it and the phase that we're in right now."

The possibility of a hub and connector at Great Falls High School is also on the table.  An estimate for that project will be presented at the next work session.

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