by: Chris Pease, Facilities Committee Spokesman, and Jan Bayer, Superintendent

In January, Boundary County School District #101 formed a Facilities Committee to collaborate on a 10-year facilities plan. The committee’s purpose involved evaluating our schools and recommending a timeline of projects and estimated expenses to the Board of Trustees. Selected Community members offer a diverse representation of our county.

We, as a district, are thankful for the community members willing to serve on the committee: Merle Ansley, Gary Aitken, Jr., Cal Bateman, Kristie Campbell, Mark Carey, Ryan Comer, Clark Fairchild, Wesley Hubbard, Wendy Mandville, Chris Pease, Bob Overman, Teresa Rae, Tony Rohrwasser, Ron Smith, and Anne Tompkins.

The four goals identified by the district included the following:

  1. Build public relations by seeking community input on where we go with our facilities;
  2. Provide the best facilities for our students within our fiscal capacity;
  3. Make recommendations to the School Board for our facilities by May 2020; and
  4. Support, in the larger community as a whole, the recommendations made to the School Board.

Due to Covid-19, we are now completing our first three goals. The Facilities Committee made their presentation with their recommendations to the Board of Trustees on September 14, 2020. Upon a final decision from the school board, we are excited to start on our fourth goal.

We, the committee, believe it is important to let you know about the tasks completed over the last 6 months:

  • We toured all school buildings on different nights. On the surface, our buildings look well, but upon inspection, the facilities told another story. The committee wants to thank the building principals and maintenance director for leading the tours.
  • We examined funds and expenses that included 2009- Present Forest Funds, 2002-2019 State Funding, Facility Expenses since 2015, and Utility Summary since 2014; and
  • We reviewed the 2001 Facilities Assessment conducted by G.D. Longwell, 2007 Building Code Evaluation, 2019 – 2020 Facilities Study by Longwell Trapp, Facility committee annual reviews (2015 – Present), Current data – funding, enrollment, staffing, building requests, and Bonding Options.

The committee felt a strong need to focus on the maintenance budget. After the building tours and reviewing information, the committee identified several needs that cannot be met solely by the maintenance budget. We all agreed to not throw good money into facilities that need too many repairs or updates to warrant the expenditures.  In the end, the committee feels they have designed and proposed a positive balance between the maintenance budget and a bond proposal.

The committee recommended to the Board of Trustees to run an $18 million dollar bond:

  • Replace Valley View Elementary School
  • Build Cafeteria at Bonners Ferry High School
  • Health & Fitness Complex – BFHS/BCMS
  • 4 room addition at Naples Elementary
  • New Plumbing at Mount Hall Elementary
  • Expanded office space at Valley View for District Office, and
  • Facilities Recommendation List, if funds allow.

In addition, the committee recommends the sale of the Valley View Kindergarten Annex and the current District Office, and use the proceeds to continue work on the facilities list.

The bond proposal allows each school to benefit from the recommendation. Additionally, the proposed bond will enable our district to host large extra/co-curricular activities and/or tournaments that will bring revenue into our community.

The committee further recommended the following projects over the next 10 years, if Maintenance and Operation Levy funds, Forest Funds, and State Operational Funds continue:

2020-2021                
Mount Hall Elementary  – Sprinklers & Water Heater
Naples Elementary – Remove one portable, remove old school, remove walkway, and finish office
Valley View Elementary – Remove water in the basement
Boundary County Middle School – Evaluate, replace, or add sprinklers
Bonners Ferry High School – Secure entryway, complete softball concessions and bathroom; evaluate, replace, or add sprinklers
Districtwide- Begin conversion to LED lighting, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage
 
2021-2022
Mount Hall Elementary – Replace exterior doors
Naples Elementary  – Replace exterior doors in main building
Bonners Ferry High School – New auditorium and gym roof, address drainage behind auditorium
Districtwide- Continue to convert to LED lighting as needed, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage, and address asphalt issues (complete Mount Hall)
 
2022-2023
Mount Hall Elementary – Heating upgrade
Naples Elementary – New roof on main building
Boundary County Middle School – Address any drainage issues identified
Bonners Ferry High School – Install new projector in auditorium
Districtwide- Complete LED conversion at Mount Hall and Naples, continue to convert to LED lighting as needed in other buildings, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage (complete BCMS), and address asphalt issues
2023-2024
Boundary County Middle School – Expand automotive shop
Districtwide- Continue to convert to LED lighting as needed, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage, and address asphalt issues (complete BCMS)
Begin examining if buildings need repainted (Mount Hall, Naples, or Boundary County Middle School)
2024-2025
Naples Elementary – Remove any remaining portables
Bonners Ferry High School – Add additional storage for the auditorium and enclose walkway between school and shop area
Districtwide- Complete BCMS LED conversion, continue to convert LED lighting at BFHS, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage (complete Naples), address asphalt issues, and repaint a building if needed (BCMS)
2025-2026
Bonners Ferry High School – Save maintenance funds for 2 years for shop expansion and replace Boiler #1
Districtwide- Continue to convert to LED lighting as needed, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage, address asphalt issues (complete Naples), and repaint a building if needed (Naples)
2026-2027
Mount Hall Elementary – Repair bathrooms, ADA compliance issues, and electrical panel if needed
Naples Elementary – Address ADA compliance issues
Bonners Ferry High School – Replace boiler #2 and complete shop expansion
Districtwide- Complete BFHS LED conversion, replace HVAC units as needed, re-evaluate and fix drainage (complete Mount Hall), and address asphalt issues
2027-2028
Mount Hall Elementary – Replace roof
Districtwide- Continue maintenance on lighting and drainage, replace HVAC units as needed, and address asphalt issues
2028-2029
Districtwide- Continue maintenance on lighting and drainage, replace any heating and/or HVAC units needed, address any remaining asphalt issues (complete BFHS), and repaint a building (Mount Hall)
2029-2030
Bonners Ferry High School – Replace roof
Districtwide- Continue maintenance on lighting and drainage, replace HVAC units as needed, and address asphalt issues

The committee worked diligently to suggest a bond and maintenance list to maximize the use of our funds, be fiscally responsible to our community, maintain our facilities, and create safe learning environments for our students and staff. The committee is eager to continue their work by supporting the recommendations.

The district cannot thank the individuals on the committee enough. The committee challenged our thinking, asked thought provoking questions, and maintained the need to be fiscally responsible.

We are all excited to see the improvements in our Boundary County School District #101 facilities!