The upcoming high school bond election in Lockwood is an opportunity of a generation for this community. A high school was identified as a community priority through a series of Montana Economic Developers Association planning meetings in 2013, and the Lockwood Community Education Committee was formed as a result. The committee acts as a liaison between the community and school district and has been actively working toward a high school in Lockwood.
After multiple legislative sessions, a moratorium on new high school districts in Montana that had been in place for almost 25 years was finally changed in 2017, to allow K-8 districts with more than 1,000 students to expand to K-12 districts. Following an initial vote in November that paved the way for preliminary campus design, households in the Lockwood School District received an invitation to participate in a series of meetings to ensure the school would be a reflection of the community.
Throughout the process, several common themes have emerged from public input:
• A desire for local control, transparency and a voice that’s heard.
• Continuation of the quality education the Lockwood School District is known and recognized for.
• Increased student retention and graduation rates by offering programs and activities that engage the interests of the students.
• Additional opportunities for extracurricular participation, giving students a chance to stand out and shine, not fade into the crowd.
• Athletic facilities comparable to other Class A schools and designed to host tournaments.
• A strong vo-ag program that provides career-building skills.
• Spaces for community use as well as student use such as a library with hours open to the public, a community meeting room, an auditorium, and outdoor spaces for community events.
The Yellowstone Valley continues to grow, including outside the city limits of Billings. This high school is long overdue and for the first time in more than two decades, Lockwood School District voters have the power to make it happen.
This vote is about more than building a building. It is an investment in our collective future as a community. It is a chance to create greater opportunities for Lockwood students’ success and would establish a community center that is a symbol of Lockwood pride. After decades of wishing for this moment and the hard work and dedication to effect change and make it happen, Lockwood now has a voice. It’s time to build the dream.
Vote yes and return your ballot by May 8, and bring our pride home to Lockwood High School.