HELENA – The Helena City Commission approved a resolution Monday for the city to vacate a portion of the Sanders Street right-of-way near Bryant Elementary.

The Helena School District approached the city to vacate around 90 feet of Sanders Street to make way for construction of a bridge that will connect Bryant’s main campus to the lot across the street.

Mosaic Architecture is designing the bridge along with an all-new school after voters supported a $63 million bond in May to replace Central, Bryant and Jim Darcy Elementary.

Bryant Elementary principal Craig Crawford testified before the commission Monday. Crawford said his students currently must bundle up to walk across the street to the gym for P.E. classes. With the bridge, that won’t be necessary. The bridge will feature glass windows and also be used as a breakout space for students at the school.

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The city will hand over the right-of-way free of charge, but not without conditions. Helena Public Schools will need to replace both the sewer and storm mains that lie underground between Livingston Avenue and Boulder Avenue as well as relocating a storm manhole north out of the proposed school common area. The district is also tasked with creating a plan for parent parking and bus parking in the area. Finally, the school district must pay for any “landscaping/aesthetics feature costs above and beyond a normal street repair due to maintenance/repair of the sewer and/or storm mains in Sanders Street.”

As part of the new school, a new gym will be built across Sanders Street, where the school district currently has a maintenance shop.