As a former teacher I know well that what students bring to a classroom significantly contributes to their learning. However, what they learn, how they learn, and in what environment they learn matters as well. Safe and healthy learning environments should concern us all. That is why I will be voting “yes” to Blaine County School District’s much-needed Plant Facilities Levy on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

In 2021, after a year-long process, Design West Architecture identified serious infrastructure problems in each school building (see District website spreadsheets for details). Ultimately prioritized in the “BCSD Projected Facilities Improvements 2023-2027,” 60 repairs and updates to existing structures were approved by our local school board earlier this year. Such projects would be conducted over the next five years in each of our eight schools, in addition to the Community Campus.

According to the district website, the list of improvements that would occur over the next few years at various schools include replacing intake air units with Energy Recovery Units, replacing HVAC heat pumps, adding ADA door openers with compliant ramps, roof replacements, installing LED lighting, a new track for Carey, replacing boilers at WRHS and repairing/resurfacing its tennis courts, as well as installing a dust collection system in the Residential Construction Academy at the Community Campus. The website with all projected improvements includes a breakdown of projects per school per year.

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