A community walk-through tour hosted by Superintendent Robert Moore, Ph.D., will be offered on Wednesday, April 14 to see the construction progress at Stevensville Schools.
Moore said the progress is exciting.
“The building project is proceeding on time and we’re excited to show the community what Quality Construction has accomplished to date in both the K-3 building and the new classrooms and technology center in the high school,” he said.
Moore said the new library with large windows facing west will bring light into the school.
“When you walk in the new entrance on the east side, you’ll be able to see through the building. The library will have large glass windows for looking out to the mountains,” Moore said. “The most exciting thing is bringing light into the school.”
Moore said the construction includes adding fire sprinklers to the buildings and bringing the school up to code.
“You’re talking about electrical upgrades, wiring for computers, phone systems, communication systems, fire alarms, all of that,” he said. “The high school office will be just inside the new entrance on the east side.”
The construction on the northeast side of the building includes the new vocational, technical education center. There will be space for metalworking and welding and dedicated space for industrial arts, technology and ag science studies.
“You think about shops being dark, but we put some glass in to make it a more modernized work/training environment,” Moore said. “We want to match the jobs that are available in Ravalli County so our students have the opportunity to stay and work here.”
Masons have started work on the exterior brick walls. Special education rooms, a counseling center and the district office with outside access are nearly complete. The main entrance to the high school gym will be northeast just off of the main parking lot.
“We will no longer struggle for parking at our events,” Moore said.
The gym is on target to have a larger foyer, more bathrooms, remodeled locker rooms and upgrades.
“We have a significant amount of work going on here,” Moore said. “We’ll no longer be under rest roomed, we’ll have a concession area that is appropriately sized, a foyer and an entrance that is appropriately sized. It’s a major change.”
Currently, the project has seen the completion of multiple classroom remodels in both the high school and elementary school buildings, including new air handling systems with ionization units as well as new lighting and general room face lifts. The elementary building has added four classrooms.
“We were out of space in the elementary school,” Moore said. “We literally had nowhere to go. We didn’t even have a teacher workroom for teachers to make copies and do business. This will give us room to grow. It will have a new entry to the south.”
New parking space for the school includes teacher parking, district office parking, elementary parking and high school parking.
“We’ve spread the problem out to various parking lots to make the campus more accessible and take care of the traffic problem to some degree,” Moore said. “When people come next week there are a lot of changes to see. It’s exciting.”
This year Stevensville Schools have had longer school days, 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., to allow them to end the school year earlier. The construction, by Quality Construction and their superintendent Mike Morgan, is on schedule with completion set for December of this year.
“Once finished, the planned expansion will place Stevensville Schools on the cutting edge of educational opportunities, with a strong collaboration between core curriculum and career/technical education in the areas of agriculture and trades,” Moore said.
Community members interested in attending the community walk-through tour, hosted by Moore, should meet at the school pull-through circle, in front of building D at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14.