Bond Referendum Goals for School District One | VideoEvan Kruegel | 12/6/2012
"It`s hard to say for sure right now, but off the top of my head I would say no, its not going to meet all the needs of the district," said Superintendent Viola LaFontaine.
The most costly project would be the construction of a brand new middle school, priced at around $38 million. The district also wants to build a district-wide elementary school at Rickard, which would cost $13 million. Even if the bond passes, that would leave just over four million dollars for the remaining projects the district wants, including updates to science equipment and the renovation of the high school. For the additional projects to happen, the district will need to show the state that it`s exhausted options locally.
"I can go before the governor and legislators and say here`s what we`ve done locally, but it`s not enough to meet all our needs, and here`s the X amount of dollars more we need. Then, hopefully they would put some money into the projects as well."
As it stands, students attend middle school for only two years before heading off to high school. If these changes happen, students would attend elementary school through 4th grade, before heading off to the new middle school for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th.
"Students today have more accessibility to knowledge and information because of the technology age, so our 5th and 6th graders are really ready for advanced curriculums that they`re not receiving," said LaFontaine.
While the growth in Williston has certainly played a role, LaFontaine says that`s not the main reason that the district needs new buildings.
"Regardless of the oil boom and all the new enrollment we`ve and, Williston would have had to start looking at new buildings regardless of the growth."
With so many projects on the docket, the district needs significant additional funding. For LaFontaine, it all starts with the passing of the bond referendum next week.