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BSSD facilities upgrade plan ‘shovel ready’ for future funding attempts

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Crowds packed the house for the LPHS volleyball team's homecoming game this past fall. PHOTO BY JACK REANEY


Voters might’ve turned down Big Sky School District’s proposed $19.85 million bond, but District Superintendent Dustin Shipman is thankful for how the master facilities plan has come together.

“The project is still there, and it’s shovel ready for when the board makes a decision to get it funded again,” Shipman said.

As to how and when this will take place, Shipman says that it is still too early to know, and that it is up to the board to strategize and decide when it will be appropriate in the future.

As LPHS graduates from a Class C school to a Class B school next year, that means that the Big Horns are going to compete against larger schools from larger towns with teams that have a significant following.

The bond would’ve paid for the third and final phase of that plan, upgrading indoor athletic facilities up to the standards of Montana Class B.

“Certainly anyone that would’ve attended our home games would’ve recognized that there weren’t a lot of empty seats in the bleachers, especially for rival games,” Shipman said.

“It’s disappointing anytime that you have a community bond or levy not pass with your voting public.” Shipman said, with no real sense of discouragement in his voice. “We’re still really thrilled that we were able to get phase one, and phase two, complete. Phase two will be coming online in August and these are great facilities that are gonna pay very big dividends for our students for decades to come.”

Shipman has been superintendent for eight years and has known the newly elected board members Matt Dodd and Seth Barker for a long time and is excited to work with them. With a genuine sense of gratitude Shipman explained that “it’s great to have parents with kids in the school that wanna get involved with the school board and help.” Both Dodd and Barker have kids in the school, ranging from elementary students to high school students.

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