Cassia County faces $15 million building shortfall

Eight months after getting the go-ahead for a variety of school building projects, the Cassia County School District has a $15 million problem on its hands.

A voter-approved $37 million bond issue will fall far short of what’s needed to pay for projects in Burley and Declo.

The Twin Falls Times-News first reported about the funding crunch last week.

Debbie Critchfield

“We’re not sitting on this,” district spokeswoman Debbie Critchfield said, according to the Times-News. “We’re trying to be transparent and figure out what to do.”

The district’s options are limited, according to the Times-News: scale back the building projects or go back to voters for a followup bond issue. Neither option appealed to school trustees or a citizens’ committee that worked on the bond issue.

The district is blaming its architect, Hal Jensen of Pocatello, saying he underestimated project costs. The district is considering a lawsuit, according to the Times-News.

“I had some elements that were underestimated,” Jensen told the Times-News. “I feel sick.”



Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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