St. Ignatius facilities funded
ST. IGNATIUS – Students will see more opportunities for vocational training and athletics thanks to a $5.6 million bond that St. Ignatius voters passed in November. SuperinSargent said plans are still in the works but he hopes construction will start in the spring.
The bond will fund the expansion of facilities for career training and athletics in the schools. The strategic plan for the project states that it intends to create a school environment that is conducive to learning and community building.
The new career and technology center will include technology education materials, a wood shop, a metal shop and an auto shop. The area will also include a family and consumer science classroom. The space will house classes on early childhood development, medicine and art, among other career training options.
“The new area is going to allow for a better preparation of students as far as employment options for the future,” superintendent Jason Sargent said.
The district will use the current gym for team games and practices and for physical education classes. The new gym will include two locker rooms, two bathrooms and a weight room. Sargent said the district has outgrown the one gym they have now. The limited space causes scheduling problems for teams and doesn’t give the students much room for physical education classes.
In addition to the bond, the district has been approved for a $1.2 million Intercap Loan, which are low-interest variable rate loans administered by the Montana Board of Investments. The loan will cover maintenance that has been put off due to a lack of funding. The loan will cover a number of projects including updates to bathrooms, the tennis court and lockers.
Voters approved the bond with 741 “yes” votes against the 629 “no” votes. The issue was also on the ballot in 2016, but voters did not approve it. Sargent said he thought the difference was that voters were more aware of the necessity of the updates this year.
Sargent said the bond will create changes that improve the experiences of all St. Ignatius students. “It’s really going to be a positive change for our students to have updated facilities,” he said.