Idaho Falls requests input on longterm facilities plan

Updated Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 5:41 p.m. with the amount the district agreed to pay for consulting services.

The Idaho Falls School District is asking its patrons to give input on long-range recommendations for upgrading its facilities.

George Boland

The East Idaho district has spent months developing recommendations for a 10-year facilities plan, and it now wants patrons to review them, said Idaho Falls Superintendent George Boland.

Recommendations include:

  • Grade configuration changes for elementary, middle schools and high school students.
  • Elementary boundary changes.
  • School renovations, additions and new construction.

Construction projects could include replacing, rebuilding or closing elementary schools, the district said in a press release Tuesday. High school upgrades could include renovating or rebuilding Idaho Falls High School on its current site and updating Skyline High School to include performing-arts space and a career-technical education center.

It’s not the first time Idaho Falls has worked through plans to update its aging infrastructure. Previous calls for input contributed to a $110 million bond issue to rebuild Idaho Falls High School and remodel Skyline High School. Voters rejected the measure in November.

The district then pushed a pair of proposals totaling $99.5 million for similar upgrades to the high schools. Both of those measures fell short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to pass.

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This time, the district contracted with consulting firm Cooperative Strategies to help develop a 10-year plan. The firm “conducted an independent analysis of (the district’s) school buildings, looking at issues such as condition, capacity and programs,” the district said. It’s also “working with a Steering Committee of (district) parents, patrons, students, staff and community leaders.”

The district agreed to pay a flat fee of $170,000 for the firm’s consulting services in fiscal years 2018 and 2019, according to an agreement for services.

The upcoming meeting will take place Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. at Skyline High School, located at 1767 Blue Sky Drive in Idaho Falls.

Those unable to attend can visit a district webpage with the recommendations and a place for patrons to provide feedback.

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