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Hundreds of students return to renovated elementary schools

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MISSOULA, Mont. - It is the first day back for many students across the region and a special day for students and Lowell and Franklin elementary schools.

Families have been lining up all day anticipating their child's classroom assignments. For children it's a day of excitement.

"The first day of school was really good! I love school and I love math and reading," said fourth grader Trymity Crobar.

Trymity spent the last year at Jefferson Elementary School while Franklin Elementary was being remodeled. Today she returns back for the first time since 2015.

"I really like this new school, because I really like the colors," she said.

A 2015 bond for $158 million allowed for renovations to schools across Missoula County. Lowell Elementary was the first renovation project. Shortly after that Franklin Elementary was demolished and rebuilt.

Monday hundreds of students come back to their classrooms for the first time since the 2015 school year. Other students in the school district can expect to also see renovations throughout the school year.

"Those students and their families will experience construction when they interact with certain buildings. For example, at Willard there is a brand new building being built right next to the current building," said director of communication Hatton Littman. "At Hellgate there are barriers set up inside of the high school so that you can't walk into a construction area."

For now some mixed feelings about the decor.

"I like the new school except for the colors," said first grader Kanou Zunker.

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Russell, Washington, Hellgate and Cold Springs are still under renovations. The bond is estimated to cost taxpayers around $200.

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