IDAHO FALLS — The Bonneville School District has carved up official boundaries for its new high school and four existing elementary schools.
On Tuesday, trustees unanimously approved new boundaries for Thunder Ridge High School, now in mid-construction, and boundaries to relocate roughly 100 kids from the Discovery Elementary School to either Iona, Ucon or Summit Hills elementary schools for the 2017-18 school year.
“It’s not a fun decision to make,” said Bonneville’s assistant superintendent Scott Woolstenhulme, who conducted the bulk of research and gathered weeks of feedback related to the changes. “But I think we’ve done our best.”
Elementary boundary changes
Discovery, the district’s largest elementary school, is currently bursting at the seems, with 711 students — well above it’s planned capacity of 550. As a result, trustees approved plans to reduce Discovery’s current boundaries by rezoning two large swaths of land both west and east of the school.
The western swath houses both Bonneville High School and Rocky Mountain Middle School, with East Iona Road to the south, North Ammon Road to the east and North Yellowstone Highway to the northwest. Students housed in the western portion of this larger triangular swath will move to Summit Hills in 2017-18. Those housed in the eastern portion of this larger area will relocate to Ucon Elementary School.
Further east, Discovery students living in a similarly sized rectangular area will relocate to Iona Elementary School in 2017-18. This separate boundary consists of Crowley Road to the east, East 49th North to the north, Little Sand Creek to the west and the railroad tracks just north of Deloy Drive to the south.
New high school boundaries
Approved boundaries for Thunder Ridge High School reflect proposed plans floated to the school board last month, which trustees stewed over for more than three weeks. This area encompasses rapidly growing neighborhoods developing east of Idaho Falls, with U.S. Highway 26 to the north, 45th East and Ammon Road to the west and 17th Street and Sunnyside Road to the south.
While the high school’s boundaries hinge on permanent plans tied to a new high school, relocating Discovery students to surrounding elementary schools is more temporary, Woolstenhulme told trustees.
“We’ll also have about 25 modular units that can go to our elementary schools and middle schools as needed next year,” Woolstenhulme said.
Meanwhile, trustees are considering a few longer-term solutions aimed at absorbing Ammon’s dizzying growth, including a potential 1,500-student middle school that could cost $52 million, a 650- to 1,000-student elementary school that could cost $16 million to $22 million, or both.
Stay with Idaho Education News for further developments on Bonneville’s boundary changes.