IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - With a new school year comes the talk of new schools. The Bonneville District 93 School Board is concerned about overcrowding, especially in secondary schools. They met Wednesday to discuss plans to house the ever-growing student population.
"We have 12 modulars at Hillcrest this year and eight at Bonneville, so until we can get new buildings built, we are going to have a lot of modulars," said Roger Hill, director of facilities and purchasing.
For Superintendent Dr. Chuck Shackett, building is the next step.
"It is inevitable. We are growing, we have built six elementary schools in eight years, we are growing at minimum 300 students each year, and they are all moving up," he says.
When those students move up, they will need somewhere to go. The school board is considering two different plans for secondary schools. One option is a new high school for 1,500 students and a new middle school built for 900 kids. The second plan makes two current middle schools annexes for Hillcrest and Bonneville high schools. Those middle school students would then move to two new locations, in the north or south.
The board will send out surveys asking the public to vote on the current plans, or possibly a new proposal.
"They have that tough decision of looking at the district globally of what is the best long-term decision for the Bonneville School District, not for my child, not for my neighbors child, but for the district," said Dr. Shackett.
In the past, District 93 has built new elementary schools, athletic complexes, and auditoriums without raising taxes, but that may not be possible this time.
"When we go to build these new schools, it will raise the tax levy rate, which most likely will raise taxes," said April Burton, chief financial operations officer.
The board will meet again in early September to decide which plan will move forward.