Bozeman, Belgrade school districts react to election results


BOZEMAN, Mont. - Bozeman Schools Superintendent Rob Watson was at the election office Tuesday night as he learned voters approved purchasing land for a new high school. He says this is an important first step in building a second Bozeman high school. "So we can start looking to the future and planning for the future." Watson said.

The site is located off Flander's Mill Road in Northwest Bozeman, just North of the existing Meadowlark Elementary. The $1.1 million to buy the land will come from existing school funds.

Though they can now move forward, Watson says it will be years before the high school actually gets built. Watson told us, "When we start talking about a second high school, that's a community planning process that we'll go through. We're probably still 2-3 years away from that."

But things weren't as simple for the Belgrade school elections.

The district was asking voters for two mill levies. Just under $712,000 for the elementary school and just over $112,000 for the high school.

The final votes showed only the high school levy passed.

Belgrade Schools Superintendent Candy Lubansky says on one level, she's glad, but, "Pretty frustrated on the elementary level."

She tells NBC Montana that not only would the money have been used to hire 6 new teachers, it would have helped the school bring back services they had to cut after last years levy also failed to pass. Lubansky explained those services included, "Playground aides and lunchroom support and custodial support. And I don't know that we'll be able to do that because again, we'll have to add teachers."

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