Three Forks Voice - Connect With Your Community!

By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Three Forks Voters Approve School Bonds


Melissa Jenkins

Voters approved two bonds for the Three Forks Schools.

Last Tuesday was a huge day for the Three Forks School District.

Local voters approved a $15 million High School Bond and a $10 million K-8 bond.

In results from the Gallatin County Elections Office, voters approved the high school bond by a vote of 725 to 517 and approved the K-8 bond by a vote of 742 to 510.

After hearing the bonds had passed, Three Forks Superintendent Jeff Elliott was excited for both students and staff.

"Not only is it good for our staff and students, but it is great for our community. We had some really persistent people spearheading this. Steve Fanning was integral in his organization of the marketing of this. Kelly Smith at the city office was also a huge help with her expertise in building with the flood issues. Also, our board really stepped up and not only supported this but drove the bus for the bond. Without those people this would have never happened," he said.

Going into the vote, Elliott noted the district was cautiously optimistic and had pretty good momentum until COVD-19 hit.

"Navigating through that we still felt good. The community was still supportive, but we honestly understand the current financial situation. Mr. Fanning texted me around 8:10 p.m. and had a screenshot of the preliminary results. That's when my phone started blowing up. Lots of texts and calls of congratulations and support," he said.

Also in the election, Three Forks voted to approve incumbents Joe Petersen (726) and Lori Sayers (894) for the 2 two-year School Board Terms. Challenger Jason B. Coursey had 291 votes.


The total bond for the Elementary District (K-8) is $10 million and the bond for the High School District is $15 million.

Melissa Jenkins

Elementary School Teachers lined up to say hello to students at a recent cruise night event.

Looking closer at the elementary bond, $6.3 million would be used for life safety, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical upgrades in 40,000 square feet of the building. The bond also includes a 15,000 square foot addition for a cost of 2.4 million. The new space would include new classrooms, flex space, music and art rooms, and a new secure middle school entrance. The bond also includes 5,000 square feet of renovations for a cost of $800,000. Renovations include special education and support spaces, a new secure elementary school entrance, administrative office, and music practice rooms.

Both the elementary and high school bonds include a $500,000 site, safety, land acquisition, and utility upgrades.

The high school bond includes $9.3 million in life safety, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical upgrades in $55,5000 square feet of the structure. A proposed 21,000 square foot new addition would include new classrooms, new secure entrance and common space, and cafeteria expansion. The bond also features 10,000 square feet in renovations for a cost of $1.7 million. The renovations include art classrooms, kitchen improvements, special education, and support spaces, and district and school administrative offices.

The estimated tax increase for a $200,000 home is $32.31 a month, and $387.73 per year. There is no current bond on taxpayer books.


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