education

Belgrade voters approved a $48 million bond Tuesday to heal growing pains experienced by the Belgrade School District.

“It was a huge team effort with a lot of individuals involved and a lot of work and time,” Superintendent Godfrey Saunders said. “We are very, very grateful to the public and our voters for their support.”

Voters approved the measure by 57 percent with 2,592 votes, according to Eric Semerad, Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder. Those against cast 1,965 votes for a 43 percent margin. Of the 13,239 ballots mailed, 4,558 were returned for a 34 percent turnout.

The bond has four components, which are as follows:

• The first is to buy 18.9 acres along Bohlinger Road across from three large developments in the works to build a 60,000-square foot elementary school that will replace Heck-Quaw Elementary School.

• The second is to buy about 40 acres somewhere south of Interstate 90 for a future elementary school and middle school. The district is currently talking to a few landowners in the area for the future schools.

• The third will be to upgrade Martha Heck Elementary School for district needs. 

• The fourth is to build a commons area onto Saddle Peak Elementary School.

Saunders said the bond can be split into $28 million and $20 million parts.

The $28 million will cover the new school and land and remodeling Heck and Saddle Peak elementary schools. The remaining $20 million will go towards the land and second elementary school project. The district doesn’t have to “cash” the $20 million bond until a site is found.