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New Elder Grove middle school ahead of schedule, under budget

Staff tours building at Superintendent award event
Elder Grove Middle School
Posted at 8:31 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 22:31:40-04

BILLINGS — Elder Grove's new middle school slated to open this fall is ahead of schedule and under budget, according to school administrators.

Principal Mike Rice and Superintendent Nathan Schmitz welcomed staff into the new building Wednesday for a ceremony honoring Schmitz as the Montana Educational Technologists Association Superintendent of the Year. Schmitz received the award in March but the event had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The stay-at-home orders though played a key role in the construction timeline.

"You know, it almost helped in a sense where everything shut down out here for us on campus," said Rice. "So I think workers we're able to get to work and do things even quicker than we expected."

"Every single entity that I'm working with on this building has told us that they've never worked on a project that has this much value," added Schmitz. "That's due to the fact that the team has worked fastidiously throughout the entire process to fixate on the academic spaces and make sure our students and staff get everything they can possibly have."

The building came to a fruition thanks to a December 2017 bond. The district is now asking for voters to pass a school levy of $599,000 on July 7 to add a number of elective classes, among a handful of other items. School District 8 has not passed a levy in 33 years.