Educators Welcome the Public - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Educators Welcome the Public

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With the Billings school bond kicking off November 5, SD2 officials are inviting voters to visit facilities, so the community can make the best decision.

On Monday, Broadwater Elementary School was open, and educators said they have invented a new word to deal with overcrowding. They're calling it 'cloffice.' No matter what dictionary you read, the word does not exist, but Broadwater Elementary Principal Joe Halligan said that due to the district's limited budget, educators have constructed new words, instead of new buildings to accommodate new students. So, Principal Halligan explains what a 'cloffice' is. "They were rooms originally designed for storage and closet space, and we've just transformed them into classrooms or small offices," Principal Halligan said.

Principal Halligan says space issues aren't the only issues. "It's just not a very comforting feeling knowing kids have to go between two buildings for speech class, special education class, or just their classroom. From a standpoint on security, it is kind of difficult," Joe Halligan said.

If approved, the nearly $122-million measure would not only rehabilitate SD2's oldest facilities, but new schools would be built, and existing facilities would be better maintained. "It's hugely important, not only for Broadwater School, but for the community of Billings. It's something the community is ready for. It's something we need to move forward with," Halligan said.

Superintendent Terry Bouck said If voters approve the idea in November, it will cost the average owner of a $200,000 home roughly $132 more per year in taxes. "It's been a long time, since we've done deferred maintenance, and the building of new schools. In fact, it's been 27 years since our last school was built," Bouck said.

Bouck said if you missed Monday's visit to Broadwater, school tours are scheduled throughout the week. He said doors will be open Wednesday at McKinley and Friday at Beartooth. The Yellowstone County Elections office has already sent out mail-in ballots. If you have not registered, you have until noon on election day to do so. You can register at the Yellowstone County Courthouse.

If you would like to learn more about the facilities and bonds before casting your ballot, you can click on Connections.