Lockwood High School

Luci Bushard, 9, runs past a sign promoting a vote for a new Lockwood High School during a rally at Lockwood ACE Hardware on Saturday. Bushard, a fourth-grader, is hoping to be part of the first graduating class of a new high school.

CASEY PAGE, Gazette Staff

Elder Grove school trustees voted during their September meeting to put a $14.9 million bond up for election on Dec. 12. 

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Elder Grove School

Palmer Coleman, center, raises his hand during class in Chris Leintz's third-grade class at Elder Grove School on Thursday, April 14, 2016.

The bond would build a new middle school to help Elder Grove deal with skyrocketing enrollment, as well as elementary school renovations for the K-8 school district. 

The election will come after a pair of Yellowstone County school elections on Nov. 7. 

Lockwood school district residents will vote on the first step of breaking away from Billings high schools to create a Lockwood high school district. The area is currently elementary only, and the vote is the first required in a two-step process.

It doesn't have any building or operation costs for a new high school attached, which would be included in a second vote that must be approved within two years of the potential passage of a first vote. 

Laurel schools are asking voters for a $52.5 million bond, split into separate elementary and high school votes. The project would build a new elementary schools and renovate an existing one into a career and technical center for high school students. The project is designed to beef up vocational offerings and alleviate overcrowding, especially in the middle and high school. 

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Tech ed teacher Joe May

Tech ed teacher Joe May gives student Brett Larkins feedback on a weld during class at Laurel High School on Friday, September 22, 2017.

Ballots for the election will be mailed on Oct. 18. They are due back at the elections office on Nov. 7 by 8 p.m. Ballots mailed in the final couple days before the deadline aren't guaranteed to arrive at the elections office in time. 

Elder Grove school officials pushed their election to December in part because they wanted to hold a community forum on bond options in September, and to avoid being overshadowed by other districts or confused with other proposals. 

"We didn't want it to get lost," said school superintendent Justin Klebe. 

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Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Billings Gazette.