District seeks Quality Schools grants

At last night’s meeting of the Miles City school board Superintendent Keith Campbell presented the rankings of the district’s applications for state Quality Schools grants. The grant program is available to any public school district in Montana.

“We just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. The good news again is that our elementary grant was ranked number three. The high school grant scored as number five,” Campbell said.

According to Campbell, two years ago the elementary proposal ranked number one while the high school proposal ranked number two. 

The elementary proposal is for $352,834 and would be used to upgrade security systems at all elementary schools.

According to Campbell that would include upgrading the lighting around the schools, finishing the controlled access doors, upgrading fire alarm systems and installing a PA system at Jefferson. 

The high school proposal is for $953,576 and would mostly be used for replacing the sewer and storm water system. 

The current sewer and storm water system has repeatedly backed up, causing flooding of raw sewage and storm water in the high school basement. 

According to Campbell, the grant application also included roofing, sidewalk replacement, and new basement carpet.

The Quality Schools Grant program wasn’t funded by the state legislature during the last biennium, but Campbell is optimistic for this round.

“Our grants scored very well,” he said. “I actually am a little hopeful. I spoke with [State] Senator [Eric] Moore (R-Miles City), and he’s going to support it.”

The grant program currently has no sponsor in the legislature, Campbell said. 

Campbell requested that members of the public talk to their legislators and ask them to support the grant.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has recommended that only nine projects be funded at a cost of a little over $5 million,  Campbell said. 

The nine applicants ranked first to last are St. Ignatius K-12, Grass Range Elementary, Miles City Elementary, Libby K-12, Custer County District High School, Grass Range High School, Wolf Point High School, Polson Elementary and Geraldine K-12.