Somers Middle School construction project delayed due to bad soil

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Somers taxpayers approved a $15.8 million bond last October to improve Somers Middle School. The plan was to break ground in the summer, but there's been a delay.

The original design planned for the addition and renovation to expand the building south and down a hill, but issues with soil caused them to go in a different direction.

A design committee worked for months on a plan to fit the district and the community’s wants and needs for the renovations.

Soil testing found the ground unstable where they planned to build. The study said the new two-story building would sink up to 18 inches in a seismic event.

Lakeside/Somers School District Superintendent Joe Price said he was told the best soil is on the east side of the school, so now they are looking to expand that direction.

He told NBC Montana the change will likely delay the start of construction to next spring, but they plan to still have the project completed by fall of 2019.

Price said project workers will push back their start dates and redo the design at no extra cost.

"I do feel really good about the team we are working with, both in the general contractor and construction manager. The architects are working very well with our group and trying to do everything they can to make this work," said Price.

The new additions and renovations will give the school more room for a growing student body.

Click here for a message from the superintendent about the delay.

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