Oil Impact Grants for Schools - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Oil Impact Grants for Schools

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Energy industry growth has caused substantial needs in schools that have been hit hard with enrollment issues.

That's why the Energy Impact Office will be giving back $12.5 million this year as well as next year to schools in the core of the Bakken development.

The oil impact grant application deadline closed today (Tuesday, July 16) for public school districts in oil and gas producing counties.

Watford City is one such school.

Superintendent Steve Holen says his application contained much of the same: employee housing, parking and technology.

The district has invested $11.5 million in the elementary expansion and they've worked with the city and county on a 42 unit apartment building across from the elementary school for employee housing.

Holen says he'd like to see new safety measures taken in the elementary parking lot.

He says the district could use help completing the projects before the school year starts.

(Steve Holen, Superintendent Watford City Schools) "We've done a lot of things on our own. We've tried to accomodate this growth. We've shifted classrooms. We've done everything we can and we've hit the point that the growth is continuing and we need to build up our infrastructure now, but at the same time hiring all these teachers, we need the money to pay for the staffing and the books and everything that goes with it. So, we're hoping the impact fund helps us cover things that frankly we couldn't get to and would have to wait unless we had these funds."

Oil impact grants are onetime funding that focuses on security, infrastructure and technology needs in non-hub city school applicants.

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