The Blaine County School District Finance Committee is composed of community members, teachers and administrators appointed by the board of trustees. The board tasked the 2018-19 Finance Committee with reviewing and vetting the building and technology needs across the district for possible inclusion in a renewed plant facility levy. This includes buildings, safety and technology.
The Finance Committee does not have a final recommendation yet and is still developing a list of projects for the board of trustees’ consideration. Once the recommendation goes to the trustees, there will be several opportunities for the community to provide input on the recommendation.
Last year, the Finance Committee toured each building throughout the district to see the requests submitted by each school. After touring Hailey Elementary, the committee considered replacing the building with a new school that was specifically designed for an elementary school and provided much greater security. Dating back to the 1930s, Hailey Elementary is a building that has evolved over many decades—from two separate schools (high school and middle school) to what it is currently—a large elementary school covering the length of over two football fields and encompassing 90,000 square feet.
At the last Finance Committee meeting, the cost of replacing the school was deemed to be too high. The Finance Committee asked staff to gather information from the Hailey Elementary principal and staff to find out what could be done to improve the safety and function of the current Hailey Elementary building. The Finance Committee will meet again on Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. at the Community Campus. It is anticipated that it will come to a conclusion on what it wants to recommend to the board of trustees. You can read more about the Finance Committee at blaineschools.org under School Board/Finance Committee. All meetings are noticed and open to the public with time for public comment.
After the Finance Committee makes a recommendation to the board of trustees, the board will conduct meetings throughout the community to hear what stakeholders have to say about the recommendations. Finally, the board of trustees will have to make the final decision on what is on the list. Ultimately, it is up to the community to decide whether the projects are of value to the students, staff and community.
GwenCarol Holmes is the superintendent of the Blaine County School District.