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Salmon School District seeking $25 million bond for new school


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SALMON — Salmon School District 291 will ask voters for a $25.6 million bond on March 12 to build a new elementary school.

Superintendent Chris Born says there just isn’t enough room to accommodate the 800 students in the district.

At the moment, middle schoolers — grades six through eight — are housed with high school students at Salmon Junior/Senior High School. The rest of the students are at Pioneer Elementary school, in a building with aging infrastructure from the 1950s. Both schools use portable classrooms to house students.

“(The elementary school) is an old building and a needs assessment shows it needs more repairs,” Born says. “The recommendation was to drive new construction.”

Born says the bond would go toward a new elementary school that would house Pre-K through eighth-grade kids. He says the new building should accommodate about 650 students.

Salmon School District 291 has a long history with school bonds. In 2013, the State Board of Education loaned the District $3.6 million dollars after eight failed bond attempts to repair or replace Salmon Middle School.

“The state gave us an option to repair the middle school or to repair the elementary school and the community voted to repair the elementary school and close down the middle school,” Born says.

Born says the local school board thought it was a good time to present the issue to residents again.

“Both myself and the board were starting to hear more from the community,” Born says. “We started doing some of the background research to see why we would do it and if this was the time to do it.”

Born says the district hired an outside firm to help run the bond campaign. There’s also a community committee that’s spearheading the bond effort.

“We’ll see how they progress,” Born says.

Born says his only message to the community would be to get out to the polls on March 12.

“If you support education and kids in the community and want our community to go forward and be progressive, come out and vote,” Born says.

Born says the bond is for 20 years and taxpayers would pay $265 a year per $100,000 of taxable property.