School districts around the area are facing the realities of aging facilities, and the Montevideo School District is no exception.

School districts around the area are facing the realities of aging facilities, and the Montevideo School District is no exception. Last February, the Montevideo board of Education was presented with a plan for the future of the districts educational facilities.

Dr. Luther Heller, Montevideo Schools Superintendent, said: “This was not a plan that we were presenting in anticipation of gaining either the approval or disapproval of the board. Instead, it was a plan that would conceptualize what it might take to address all of the needs and priorities that had been identified the initial analysis of our facilities.”

That original conceptualization had an estimated cost of $115.6 million. “It was a starting point for the discussions and work that would follow,” said Dr. Heller.

As it currently stands, the school district does not have a specific plan or timeline for any proposal to be implemented. “We are  working through ideas,” Dr. Heller said. “There is no plan that is ready to go to a vote. We have only worked with broad concepts, not with the specifics of designing a project or a proposal.”

Last April, the district hired a consulting service, ICS, to take a comprehensive look at the district’s facility needs and priorities. Part of ICS’s job was to develop a long range plan for addressing those needs and priorities.

ICS arranged for several meetings to take place with school staff, students and community members in order to identify what those groups felt was important for the future of the district.

“The analysis that was done with the data from the focus groups in the spring of 2018, along with the information from the ten listening sessions in the fall of 2018 and information from the online survey identified some commonalities,” said Dr. Heller.

The analysis showed that there was a strong desire to improve district facilities, and that it was important to maintain the early childhood and pre-Kindergarten programs.

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