Watford City: School Bond Vote - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Watford City: School Bond Vote

Posted: Updated:

Another school district in western North Dakota is about to ask voters for money to expand.

Enrollment at Watford City Public School has doubled since 2010.

And after a number of expansion and relocation projects, Superintendent Steve Holen says the temporary fixes are not holding.

As Jennifer Kleen tells us, the district is asking for the first school bond in 30 years.

Sitting still is not what this school is about.

Population growth in Watford City is keeping educators on their feet.

(Steve Holen, Superintendent Watford City Schools) "We've invested in making sure that we're making a good decision."

Watford City School District had a net growth of 200 students from last spring to now.

(Steve Holen, Superintendent Watford City Schools) "Which has been our biggest year by far."

-- for a total of 1,060 K-12 students --- doubling the district size since 2010.

Tracking slightly ahead of numerous projection studies that have been conducted.

(Steve Holen, Superintendent Watford City Schools) "We've given it the time. We could wait longer to see but we've had three good years of watching it progress and it's pretty much gone as we're expected it too. We think our biggest growth years are yet to come."

It's also becoming a more stable enrollment --- there are fewer students coming and going.

That's why the district is asking for the first bond issue in 30 years.

(Steve Holen, Superintendent Watford City Schools) "We feel that we've done our absolute best on the financial part to put something to the public that the board has really looked hard at. We wanted to alleviate as much on the tax payer as we could and we feel like we've come to a number that's a solid number, this is the number we need to get this done."

$23 million is being sought from other sources and the bond issue would be for $27 million from the public, all for a brand new building.

The $50 million dollars is all inclusive: land, furniture and technology.

The project will provide a 162,000 square foot high school for 800 students....

Building new was not a first resort.

The summer of 2010 saw the first substantial wave of new students --- so they reconfigured buildings.

The elementary school became K-5 and the 6th graders were moved into the high school....

Three years later, the summer of 2013 was spent adding onto the elementary school for a capacity of 600 students.

The five new kindergarten classrooms are full this school year....

Public input forums were held, population studies conducted.

The district considered adding on to the existing high school.

(Steve Holen, Superintendent Watford City Schools) "The only option here would be to go up another floor. Our architects told us that would be difficult and not usually a good decision to make. We evolved and started to reach capacity in both buildings and we knew, okay, we do have to look at a third."

The third building plan took the shape of a new high school east of town on Highway 23 on a hill between the airport and the valley.

If the bond passes, Superintendent Holen says that by completion in the 2015-2016 school year the new bypass will be in place east of the school location, which should alleviate some traffic concerns....

In it's landlocked position in town, the existing high school would become Watford City Middle School.

(Steve Holen, Superintendent Watford City Schools) "We've done a lot of planning along the way. I think the community sees that we've not jumped into this. We've done other steps. We've done addition projects, we've done other things, but we're just being honest that if we're going to avoid portables and what we know is coming, we need to take this next step now."

The next step will be at the voting polls.

In the mean time, educators scramble to find the answers -- shuffling students into the best seat.

In Watford City, Jennifer Kleen, KX News.

The Watford City Public School bond election will be held on March 11.

  • Minot/Williston NewsMore>>

  • Securing the Northern Border

    Securing the Northern Border

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-08-20 00:08:37 GMT
    Drug arrests in oil producing counties increased by 40 percent in one year.
    Drug arrests in oil producing counties increased by 40 percent in one year.
  • Highway Crash Involves Farm Tractor

    Highway Crash Involves Farm Tractor

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:03 PM EDT2014-08-20 00:03:57 GMT
    One person was injured when a farm tractor and a semi truck collided on Highway Two this afternoon.
    One person was injured when a farm tractor and a semi truck collided on Highway Two this afternoon.
  • County Waiting on Bond Vote Timing

    County Waiting on Bond Vote Timing

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-08-19 23:59:36 GMT
    Ward County Commissioners today tried to nail down a time to hold a special election required to ask citizens for more funds to complete a jail expansion...
    Ward County Commissioners today tried to nail down a time to hold a special election required to ask citizens for more funds to complete a jail expansion...
Quick Clicks
Closings/Delays
View list
Calendar
What's happening?
Lottery Results
Feeling lucky?
Viewer Photos
Submit yours!
Road Report
Current conditions
TV Listings
See what's on
Gas Prices
Check near you
E-Mail Newsletter
Signup now

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
loading...
Powered by WorldNow
General information or questions:
kxinfo@kxnet.com

News:
Bismarck:
Phone: 701-223-9197
News Fax: 701-223-1985

News:
Minot:
Phone: 701-852-2104
News Fax: 701-838-1050
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KXNET. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.