Quality Facilities - 2017
In the vision statement for the Emmett Independent School District we state, “Our district works collaboratively in state of the art facilities . . .” First, a vision is what we want to see in the future. Second, state of the art does not mean the newest facilities. It does mean that we are continually improving our facilities to provide the best environment for preparing students to succeed in life beyond high school.
This is no easy task. Our world changes quickly and we need to be very careful to not just follow a new fad.
The District’s facilities committee has been touring the Middle School and High School to assess the needs for improving these facilities for the future of Emmett. As we toured the middle and high schools, it was clear that the buildings need some major improvements.
The Middle School was built in 1954 with a classroom and lunchroom addition added in 1972. The locker rooms were remodeled and expanded in 2010. This 64 year old building appears to be well built and has the potential to provide another 30 or so years of service to the students in Gem County. It does need some major improvements. These include new electrical service and wiring throughout the building and new heating and air conditioning for the building. The building does not have air conditioning in the classrooms and these rooms become very hard to work in during the fall and spring. We also need to refresh the classrooms and science rooms, add better natural lighting, and create better learning environments for our students.
The High School was built in 1987 and is not the favorite of the community. However, we need to maintain this building for our students and the possible future use to handle growth in the school system as we look to a new high school down the road.The High School does have some significant needs that include upgrade the bathrooms, improve the science labs, remodel the locker rooms, and pave the parking lot. We also need to consider replacing the bleachers at the football field and resurface the track.
In addition to the high school and the middle school, there is also a need to replace the roof and the flooring in the gym at the Sweet school.
The facilities committee is also considering recommending that we purchase land for building a new high school in the future. They will continue to meet and refine these ideas and look for ways to serve the students in Gem County over the next 10 to 15 years.
In Idaho, paying for major improvements like these have to be paid for through a local property tax bond. Our current bonds for the elementary schools will be paid off in 2018. This gives our community the opportunity to consider running a bond to pay for major improvements without increasing the amount we are currently paying in taxes.
Lots of information gathering and decisions need to be made before the board decides to offer a bond to the voters in Gem County. If you have ideas, please send them to me, Wayne Rush, Superintendent at firstname.lastname@example.org.