The Bozeman School Board voted Friday to hire CTA Architects Engineers to help plan construction of Bozeman’s second high school and to come up with a solid cost estimate to put to voters next May. CTA, one of four firms interviewed for the job, was recommended by a 10-member interview committee. School Board trustees voted 8-0 to choose the company.
“It’s an honor,” said Scott Wilson, CTA president, who lives in Bozeman. He said the company’s goal would be to deliver a great school that would last for generations. School officials plan to ask voters in May 2017 to pass a bond issue so that the second high school could open by fall 2020. CTA was hired a decade ago when Kalispell voters decided to build its second high school, which resulted in the spectacular-looking Glacier High School building.
“We need to hear from you all what the community wants,” Wilson told trustees. One key to passing a bond issue is that students who will attend the existing Bozeman High School feel they have a great building, too, he said.
Next the school district will call together a planning committee, which will meet all day Sept. 20, School Superintendent Rob Watson said. It will include teachers from every department at Bozeman High, plus parents, community members, school administrators and four elected trustees. The committee will operate by consensus and will hold public meetings to hear the community’s views, Watson said.
CTA can help the bond election campaign with its marketing staff, graphics, and social media experts, Wilson said. In the past 10 years, 80 percent of CTA’s bond projects have been successful. One key, he said, is “no surprises.” Another is communicating to voters how the new school would “make the community better.”
BOB FRANZEN, PROJECT MANAGER:
“Bozeman School District is known for its high quality students (amongst the highest scoring in the state) and the new high school will help to ensure this student success continues into the future. This is a great opportunity for CTA to provide an important service to the Bozeman community. “