KTVH.com

East Helena School District: Dartman Field preferred location for proposed high school

EAST HELENA – East Helena School District leaders say they now have a preferred location for a new high school, if voters approve building one this spring.

The district created a committee several months ago to evaluate potential sites. Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer said Monday that the members decided the best location would be at Dartman Field, just off Valley Drive and near where the new Prickly Pear Elementary School is currently under construction.

At a special school board meeting Tuesday night, trustees will discuss putting together an offer to purchase additional land at Dartman Field. Whitmoyer said the opportunity to acquire the property came up suddenly, so the board is acting quickly.

The school board is proposing a $29.5 million bond issue to pay for a new high school. District voters will weigh in on the proposal in a May 8 election.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, trustees will share information about the costs to build and operate a high school. They will also discuss what features a new school would include and show conceptual drawings of what it might look like.

The public meeting will get underway at 5:30 p.m. in the East Valley Middle School cafeteria.

East Helena is one of three elementary school districts in Montana that have the option to build high schools of their own if voters approve a bond. The Montana Legislature passed a law last year allowing elementary school districts with more than 1,000 students to expand into K-12 districts.