Williston, ND (KEYZ) Scores of concerned parents and property owners turned out last night at Bakken Elementary school to hear Williston School District number ones plans to alleviate over crowding and details behind another bond initiative set for November to raise money to expand current campuses which are at or near capacity. Dr Jeffrey Thake explains the district is taking a new more open approach this time.
“Clearly we want to be more transparent, that was a big issue that parents brought up and we also want to make sure that we are showing the community the other options that we had looked at because I think that a lot of the community members who didn’t get behind the last bond, would be willing to get behind one, knowing that we do have an overcrowding situation, if it looked like a fiscally responsible plan, where we are protecting the tax payer dollars,” says Thake.
How receptive was the audience about bringing up another bond initiative?
“They were very receptive. We used a group called RSP, the analytical group prepared some projections for us and that information will very soon be available on our district website. The second group we used was JLG and JE Dunn, our architects who shared some information with us on the issues that we are having not just with few of our buildings, but with all of our buildings. And then of course we used data from our “Thought Exchange” , where we gathered over 22 thousand ranked comments from the public on what we can learn from our previous bond issue,” says Thake.
Fresh enrollment figures for District number one reflect more than 4500 hundred students beginning classes in two weeks, that’s just over 400 more students than last year says Thake.
“With those figures, we are not including any possible ‘mobility’ (students moving away from or into the district) I’m still new and learning what the average mobility would look like, but our enrollment continues to grow and we continue to look for more creative ways that we can serve our students and actually house our students.
Monday night’s public meeting of the Williston District one School Board at Bakken Elementary School, gave administrators a chance to explain their planned second run at bond initiative, but this time touting their new policy of openness and inclusion of the public and other stakeholders like the city officials who believe the situation facing Williston schools is larger than the district alone.