Board committee talks school boundary planning and scoreboard upgrades

2014-05-05T20:14:00Z 2014-05-06T16:27:10Z Board committee talks school boundary planning and scoreboard upgradesBy ROB ROGERS rrogers@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

School District 2 hopes it will find the best people for its committee tasked with redrawing school boundaries.

Members of the board’s planning and development committee looked at draft applications at their meeting Monday night. District leaders hope to have a final application ready to go out to the public in a couple weeks.

The district is looking for roughly 20 people — parents, community leaders, SD2 employees, trustees and planning experts — to sit on the committee that will readjust or fix school boundaries across the city.

“I want it to go smoothly, and to go smoothly, you need reasonable people,” said Superintendent Terry Bouck.

Trustees hope to have a method in place for selecting committee members and giving them direction by their regular board meeting in two weeks.

They’d like to have the committee formed by late June or early July.

Scoreboards

Also at the meeting Monday night, trustees talked about updating the district’s scoreboards. Mark Wahl, SD2’s director of activities, talked about options for replacing and updating scoreboards and possibly using advertising to help cover some of the cost.

The state offers loans to school districts specifically for purchasing scoreboards. The loans are offered at roughly 2 percent and are paid back over seven years.

Trustees are looking at four options that would cost between $805,000 and $1.3 million.

With new scoreboards in place, the district would have the option of selling ad space on them to area businesses and merchants, Wahl said.

Finally, trustees heard updates on the McKinley and Broadwater elementary school renovation projects and the new new middle school designs.

The work at McKinley and Broadwater is being overseen by CTA Architects. Work will begin as soon as school lets out next month. CTA has hired contractors for the window replacement and masonry work. Bids for both projects came in on budget.

For the new middle school in the Heights, A&E Architects is in the process of meeting with middle school teachers from across the district to give feedback on the space and function design of the new middle school’s classroom.

Design work on the school will finish up this year and construction will begin next spring.

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