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This is the second in a series of articles about the upcoming Minidoka Schools Bond. I encourage you to reach out to your local school to ask questions and learn more about their needs. Last week we discussed Why we need the bond: To address student growth and complete projects we have not been able to get to with the Supplemental Levy funds that our patrons have provided for so many years. This week I will address “What we are going to do with the bond funds?”

Question: What is going to be done at our elementary schools?

Answer: Because our elementary schools are currently at 102 percent capacity and we continue to grow, we plan on adding twelve elementary classrooms. Six of these will be at Paul Elementary (location to be determined) and six classrooms and a larger gym or multipurpose room at Heyburn Elementary (all of which will be located on the west end of the building).

In addition to these classrooms we also plan on addressing parking and parent pick-up/drop-off zones at each of our elementary schools, as well as Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) at Paul Elementary and Rupert Elementary.

Question: What is going to be done at our two middle schools?

Answer: Currently East Minico Middle School has four more classrooms than West Minico. To address this inequity we will add six classrooms at West Minico. Because of the classroom layout at West we can add six classrooms for just a little more than the cost of four classrooms. In addition both school’s front entrances will be expanded and redesigned to provide a more secure entrance and larger commons or cafeteria area.

Question: What is going to be done at Mt. Harrison High School?

Answer: Mt. Harrison is on track to receive and electrical system upgrade this spring using Supplemental Levy funds. The bond would allow us to improve front entrance security and add at least two classrooms, one of which would be used for Family and Consumer Science classes.

Question: What is happening at Minico High School?

Answer: We would invest nearly $3 million into a new Ag facility, the details of which our Ag teacher and the Ag Advisory Board will work out over the next few months. Our current wood shop and residential construction class would then move into the old welding shop, more than doubling their current work area. The Minico gym floor has never been replaced, and if you have ever been to a graduation at Minico you know why we need air conditioning in there, so we plan on doing both of those as soon as possible. A concession/restroom building was promised many years ago when the softball and soccer fields were developed and we would be able to fulfill that commitment.

We have budgeted a larger than normal contingency fund and have been working with a bond consultant to ensure that our budget includes allocations for fees, construction management, architect fees, and other items that we may have overlooked. The bond resolution will allow us to address other issues in the district if we have funds remaining after all of these projects have been completed..

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. Feb 26 in the West Minico Middle School Auditorium for a bond information meeting. If you have questions before then please feel free to contact me at kcox@minidokaschools.org.

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Kenneth W. Cox is the superintendent of the Minidoka County School District.

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