The Bismarck School Board has unanimously approved new elementary school boundaries as the district prepares to start construction on two schools.
The new boundaries will ease capacity issues at other elementaries and accommodate the growth the school district is predicting in coming years.
Seven elementary schools will be affected by the change: Centennial, Grimsrud, Highland Acres, Liberty, Will-Moore, Sunrise and Murphy. The boundaries will go into effect for the 2022-23 school year. They can be viewed at https://bit.ly/2N0AuNC.
The district needed to update the boundaries because it is building two elementary schools in north Bismarck as district enrollment is projected to increase. Ground was broken at a northwest site last October. Groundbreaking for a northeastern school should occur by the end of the month.
The exact start date for construction is tentative, but the district is "confident" work will begin in early April for the northwest school and in late April or early May for the northeast school, spokesman Steve Koontz said.
Board members praised district administrators' work developing the new boundaries at the board's meeting Monday.
"I appreciate that work, that we did it in-house," Matt Sagsveen said. "It's helpful for the district monetarily."
The school board approved a bid to construct the second of the two schools Monday -- OK'ing a guaranteed maximum price of $18.7 million to build the northeast school out to maximum capacity. The board approved a $17.6 million bid for the northwest school on Feb. 22. Northwest Contracting is the construction manager for both projects.
The difference in cost between the two schools comes from extra site costs for the northeast school, an increase in the price of building materials and the fact that some low bidders for the northwest school did not submit bids for the northeast school. The district can afford to build the schools without increasing the mill levy, Business Manager Darin Scherr said.
By choosing to build the schools out to full capacity, each building will have room for 535 students. The schools are scheduled to open in the fall of 2022.
Reach Sam Nelson at 701-250-8264 or email@example.com.