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Stevensville school bond ballots to be mailed Wednesday

The Stevensville School District is asking voters to approve two separate bond requests that total more than $22 million.The bonds would pay for major renovations for safety and classroom additions and improvements, plus updates to the athletic field, a host of deferred maintenance projects, parking improvements, a new bus shop and playground relocation.

The Stevensville School District is asking voters to approve two bond requests totaling more than $22 million.

The 20-year-bonds would pay for safety and deferred maintenance, renovation and upgrades.

If both bonds are approved voters in Stevensville who own a $200,000 house would pay about $190 a year for 20 years.

Since they have an independent elementary school of their own voters in Lone Rock will only vote on the high school levy.

They would pay about $98 a year on a $200,000 property for 20 years.

On Wednesday the Ravalli County Elections Office will mail ballots to Stevensville and Lone Rock residents.

The school district would see safety upgrades at both the elementary and high school.

The entrance of the high school would be moved.

More parking would be created and there would be direct supervision of parking areas.

"Also direct supervision of anyone who is entering the building," said Stevensville School Superintendent Bob Moore. "Right now we have multiple entrances to the building."

There would be three drop off points to alleviate traffic.

Phillips Street where children cross from the school to the playground would be relocated farther south on the playground.

"We'd move the playground next to the building," said Moore, "so students don't have to cross an active street three times a day."

Four additional classrooms would be built onto the elementary school.

Moore said special education space is insufficient.

"We are out of room at the elementary school," he said. "We have no more classroom space."

The district had to add a new kindergarten class to meet growing enrollment, said Moore. "School enrollment is increasing as large elementary school classes move into high school."

He said new subdivisions could indicate continued growth in the school district.

Deferred maintenance projects include replacing a 1960 boiler, updating science labs, installing energy efficient windows and making restrooms ADA accessible.

There are plans for a new bus barn.

The athletic field would see a new track and grandstand.

Cracks in the tennis court would be repaired.

"We don't have running water and sewer at our athletic fields," said Moore. "So there are some other items.

The bond requests include a great deal of information for Stevensville residents to chew on.

Stevensville resident Charles Spurlock said it's a lot of money.

He said he isn't worried so much about himself. But he said the community has a lot of familes who are barely making ends meet.

"Both parents have to work to support the taxes, groceries and rising cost of living," he said. "I don't know what they are going to do. They may have to move out of the area."

But Stevensville resident Judith Fraser supports the bonds.

She said Stevensville is growing and it needs an educated workforce.

"That's part of what people figure into when they think about moving here," she said. "Opening a business here are they going to have people who are educated enough to do those job?"

Almost 6,500 voters in Stevensville and Lone Rock will receive ballots.

Voters should receive their ballots by Friday or possibly Monday.

The ballots are due back by May 8th.

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