BOZEMAN — Anderson School in Bozeman is asking taxpayers to approve a $6.9 million bond next month to replace a deteriorating wing of the school.
Superintendent Scott McDowell understands it's not the best time to be going to the voters, with the bond for Gallatin High School being passed a couple of years ago and the Law and Justice Center on the ballot this November. Anderson’s previous 20-year bond is expiring this year.
“I hope people support projects that they’re very interested in. We are just asking our taxpayers here at Anderson to please understand our needs, why and how we got to this point and what our project is about with safety infrastructure and improving our classrooms,” McDowell said.
The decades-old wing at Anderson School needs some major upgrades, so much so that if the bond passes, the entire wing would be demolished to build a brand new wing.
Needed upgrades, for example, include infrastructure and heating.
“The wall units are, I don’t want to say extinct, but we’re getting close to where they are so old that when we call out Williams Plumbing to help us, they have to search on eBay to find parts to fix it,” McDowell said.
As for student safety, McDowell said, “The number one goal we have for the project is safety. One of those things involves fire code and we are a two-story building on this end. But we don’t have sprinklers and with this kind of construction you should if you have two stories, but this has been added on to four times since 1972.”
If the bond passes, it would result in a $9.53 increase per $100,000 of assessed home value for 20 years.
McDowell, along with teachers and supporters, is going door to door to educate taxpayers about the bond that would fix everything within the school.
“What I’m seeing is there’s a lot of head nodding and understanding of the needs. I don’t think people can argue about the needs and nobody has about what the issues are. However, the $6.9 million and the tax impact, we understand we are asking a lot,” said McDowell.
Ballots are being mailed on Sep. 12 and are due by Oct. 1. For more information, click here.