SD2 Committee Visits Middle School Sites - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

SD2 Committee Visits Middle School Sites

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BILLINGS -

The middle school site planning committee for SD2 visited all prospective locations on Tuesday. The decision will be narrowed to two spots located in the Heights and West End.

The committee visited six sites Tuesday. There were two school-owned properties on the west end, and there were four privately-owned properties in the heights. Tuesday's tour gave the committee the opportunity to really decide the best spots for students. "The facility would be the same no matter what spot we picked. But, what's going to work best for the community, and what kind of building we can use and be proud of, and how can we make these convenient for the best spots for them, and these are some great spots," SD2 board chair Allen Halter said.

Halter said the committee choosing the middle school locations are combining data like the size of the land and how accessible it is for parents. Halter said visiting the spots put their plans into perspective. "These guys are the ones making the recommendation to the board, and I think it's important they spend this time, and it's a great opportunity for them," Halter said.

Kristen Lundgren with the United Way of Yellowstone County said what makes sense on paper may not necessarily be best for students. "It's great to see them in real life versus on paper. It's always a different experience being out in person. I'm just impressed with the group the school district has put together. It's so diverse," Lundgren said.

So far, the committee is leaning toward the area of 56th and Grand for their West End pick, but the Heights decision is still up in the air. "Personally, I would be leaning toward the site we saw over by Bitterroot Elementary School. I just love the idea of having an elementary and a middle school close to each other for cost savings, sharing facilities, volunteer opportunities, and that just makes sense for kids," Lundgren said.

All sites must be at least 15 acres. Heights locations will have to be purchased whereas both west end spots are already owned by the district. The committee will present their top picks to the board July 15th.

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