Deer Park ballots due May 22

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Voters living in Deer Park School are reminded to mail in ballots on a $1.85 million bond issue to meet a May 22 deadline.

As of Tuesday, about 42 percent of ballots mailed to residents have been returned according to the school district.

Ballots are due at the school district office by 8 p.m. on May 22. Voters have the option to mail or hand deliver ballots to the main office located at 2105 Middle Road in Columbia Falls. In order to be counted, the person a ballot is issued to must sign the outer envelope.

If the bond issue is approved, owners of homes valued at $200,000 can expect annual taxes to increase by about $177.

The goal of the proposed construction project is to make the three buildings that encompass the school more functional and efficient.

The proposed 20-year bond issue would fund a new art/music room, library media center, flexible learning room and a more centrally located main office/entrance. This would free up existing space to renovate into a dining/multipurpose room and classroom. Renovating bathrooms is also a priority. Improvements would also be made to existing classrooms, security, storage, infrastructure (heating, electrical and plumbing) and abatement of hazardous materials.

The last major construction project on Deer Park was a gym addition in 2001 that was built onto the third- through eighth-grade building. Kindergarten through second-grade is housed in a building that encompasses a schoolhouse that dates to the 1920s. The main office is located in a former house where teachers lived and is abutted by a Quonset hut where art, music, an after-school program and some math classes take place.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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