Whitefish has a brand new elementary school to accommodate the district's growing population.
Muldown Elementary School principal Linda Whitright told MTN News that a new elementary school building was long overdue. The new building was built with a $26.5 million bond that was passed several years ago.
The old elementary school was over 50 years old and had an old roof and plumbing. Whitright says the old roof worried the administration and its ability to handle the winter snow load. She said the plumbing in the building was so old it was difficult to find replacement parts.
The new building has flexible learning spaces, a brand new gym and enough room for over 800 students. Currently, the student population is around 700, however the new building was built for room to accommodate growth.
Whitright added that the new building's construction gives a nod to Montana.
"It's a cement floor but it has those rocks that are indicative of the colors of Montana," said Whitright." And then, there is what we're calling the river. And that gives it that Montana feel. And the colors on the outside and the shape of the building on the outside are representative of the mountains of the area."
Whitright said that the school has to make adjustments this year for COVID-19.
Children's temperatures will be taken on entry and the school has a designated room if a child presents symptoms. Whitright said that the school is required to have a separate area for a student to wait with a teacher if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
She explained that the district will be in a hybrid model with half the students working remotely for two days while the other half does in-person learning. Whitright added that at the end of September the district will have everyone back to in-person learning while constantly monitoring virus numbers.