SD2 board declares vacancy, moves forward with trustee boundary changes

2013-06-17T21:30:00Z 2013-07-15T16:29:04Z SD2 board declares vacancy, moves forward with trustee boundary changesBy ROB ROGERS rrogers@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

The School District 2 board made official at its meeting on Monday the vacancy created by Trustee Pam Ellis when she resigned last month. 

Trustees will appoint Ellis' replacement in the next 60 days, as stipulated by state law. People interested in joining the board must be registered voters and live in Zone 2, which comprises the east side of the Heights and downtown. 

Applications for the post must be submitted by 5 p.m. on July 9. The term expires next May. 

Ellis' district is one of four trustee districts proposed to have its boundaries adjusted in light of updated census figures. 

The board voted unanimously to make the changes. The new map now moves to a public hearing for community comment. After the hearing, the board will submit it to the state for review. If that's successful, trustees will then make a final vote at the end of the summer for final approval. 

The adjustments are relatively minor and will change the boundaries on four of the board's seven elementary district trustee zones.

Also at the meeting, trustees unanimously approved a bid by A&E Architects to design the initial plans for the two middle schools the district hopes to build in the next three years. 

The bid, for $110,000, will start the design process for the schools. The district is in the middle of selecting potential sites where the schools will be built. 

All of it is contingent on passing a multimillion dollar bond this fall with voters.  

The district has mailed out surveys to over 2,000 Billings residents seeking to gauge public interest in building the new schools and finding out how much people are willing to pay. 

Superintendent Terry Bouck reminded those who had received the survey to mail it back to the district as soon as possible.

The district's recently completed master facilities plan called for more space to be created for SD2 students as enrollment is projected to grow at a steady pace over the next decade.

Many of the district's school are already overcrowded or at capacity.

Later this week, the district will hold a pair of community meetings to seek feedback from parents and residents on where potential school sites should be.

On Wednesday, SD2 leaders will be at Sandstone Elementary in the Heights and then on Thursday, they’ll hold a meeting at Boulder Elementary on the West End.

Both meetings will go from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. District leaders are hopeful for a large turnout.

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