Make some room Bozeman High School—it looks like you will have some company soon in Bozeman, Montana. The phrase now feels much more real, thanks to a 6-1 vote by the Bozeman School Board to build an entirely new, 9 -12 high school in Bozeman Montana. Bozeman has been one of the fastest growing small towns in Western United States.
Bozeman High School currently has 2,000 students but has been expanding year over year. By 2020, the date a new high school should be opened, that enrollment will reach 2,400, hence the split.
The Bozeman School Board, as well as its high school expansion advisory committee, worked hard in the past six months to determine the best method of expanding its educational services to a growing city.
The Bozeman School District had grappled with several ideas, including a Freshman only school, expanding the current high school, or even changing which age children would attend what school. However, after much deliberation, the board went ahead with the most expensive, but also most forward thinking proposal (in terms of potential future costs): an entirely new high school, a distinct entity from Bozeman High School with its own teachers, athletics, mascot etc.
The high school will be built on Bozeman’s west side of town, on Oak and Flander’s Mill Road. It will be just North of Meadowlark Elementary school.
The recommendations for the new Bozeman high school were researched and made by the 31-member advisory committee which consisted of parents, teachers and community members. The committee had to tackle concerns that expansion might bring. The variety and number of classes offered may be thinned due to the costs of new faculty, administration and operating costs.
Bozeman High School’s reputation has been nothing short of stellar of late. Its students always perform extremely high on standardized tests, they take a wide variety of AP classes, the school has received education based grants, and the overall happiness of Bozeman high schoolers is very high in comparison to other places in Montana and in the US. Many are concerned a second school could potentially dilute the excellence and momentum Bozeman High School has built.
Despite concerns of the price and drawbacks of a second high school, the advisory committee reported that letters for and against a new high school were nearly 2-1, giving them the confidence that they have made the best decision for the community. Voters will still need to pass the bond that funds the school. That very important vote will take place in May, 2017.