Questions and Answers

Why is Target Range School District holding a Safety and Learning Bond election on May 7, 2019?

Safety and learning are essential.

School safety is a much greater concern than it was 25 or 50 years ago.

  • The front entry isn’t secure and the office staff doesn’t have a direct view of the front door.
  • The front drop-off area is busy with traffic and unsafe.

We must act now to improve the safety of our school.

Learning also has changed significantly in the past 25 to 50 years.

  • The school has a 1950s-style science lab.
  • Target Range doesn’t have rooms made for band, orchestra and choir.
  • The school was built before students had these opportunities.
  • Kids play and sing in rooms that are too small and too loud.
  • All grades, K-8 use a small gym as their cafeteria. Scheduling issues mean some children must wait until after 1 p.m. to eat lunch.

We can’t let our kids fall behind. They need 21st century learning areas in order to prepare for the future.

How will the Safety and Learning Bond improve safety at our school?

The Target Range School District asked neighbors, students, parents and staff to provide ideas on how to improve the school.

They want to see:

A new safe, secure entry. The main entry of the school will be moved away from South Avenue to what is now the back of the school. This will be the only entry for parents and visitors. There will be a secure vestibule. Front office staff will have a clear view outside and can lock the doors remotely if needed.

A safer drop-off/pick-up area and expanded parking. Parents will leave and pick up their kids at a safe spot near the new front entry. There will be a separate drop-off area for the bus. This, plus more room to park, will eliminate dangerous traffic conditions.

New opportunities for STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math) learning. Proposed improvements would update the lab, add a Maker Space and area for studying robotics. Updates to the art area would make it safer by moving a ceramics kiln outdoors and provide more space for kids to get creative. Open learning areas would foster teamwork and collaborative brainstorming.

New band, orchestra and chorus rooms, with adequate space for students, their instruments and storage. Plus better acoustics to protect kids’ hearing.

A new cafeteria/multi-purpose area to eliminate scheduling issues and help kids eat at more appropriate times. This area can also be used for drama and music performances, as the school doesn’t have an auditorium.

What other improvements are planned?

Additional upgrades to the Target Range School Building will include:

  • Better grade separation between elementary and middle school grades, centralized special education, counseling, Title One, speech area.
  • New, improved restrooms. A new staff restroom in the elementary area means teachers won’t need to be away from class as long, and ensure visitors aren’t using the same restrooms as students.
  • Accessible, safer locker rooms closer to the gym.
  • Updated kitchen to better serve the new cafeteria area.
  • Breezeways to serve new areas, reduce hallway congestion and improve supervision and safety of students.Efficiency upgrades to mechanical systems.

How did students, teachers, parents and Target Range neighbors help develop the Safety and Learning Bond?

The Target Range School District initiated a community engagement in Spring 2018 to gather input into ways the school building could be improved.

Outreach activities included:

  • May, 2018: A student day in which all 570-plus Target Range students discussed the school building and shared ideas – in words and pictures – on how it might be improved to better serve their needs.
  • May, 2018: A staff day, in which 70 Target Range teachers and staff members discussed the school building and shared their ideas on ways to improve the learning environment.
  • Sept. 27, 2018: Target Range Community Night, in which more than 60 Target Range parents and neighborhood residents enjoyed dinner in the school cafeteria, engaged in brainstorming and filled out individual comment cards to provide their own ideas on ways the school building could be improved.
  • September-October, 2018: One-on-one interviews with more than 30 Target Range stakeholders, including neighborhood residents, parents and school staff.
  • Oct. 28, 2018: Target Range Homeowners Association meeting, in which attendees were invited to ask questions about the District’s community engagement project and to fill out comment cards providing their input into potential school building improvements. Approximately 20 people attended the meeting.
  • Nov. 26, 2018 to Jan. 31, 2019: Online community survey promoted to Target Range voters via digital ads and postcards sent to every registered voter in the District. More than 170 registered voters took part in the 15-minute survey.

If voters approve the bond, when will improvements be made?

If the bond is approved, work on improvements to the school would begin this summer (2019), continue through next school year, and be completed in summer 2020.

What is the bond amount and how much will it cost Target Range homeowners?

The total amount of the 20-year Safety and Learning Bond is $8.47 million.

Based on an analysis by D.A. Davidson, the estimated annual cost for the owner of a $300,000 home is $241.73, or roughly $20.14 per month. You can see D.A. Davidson's complete analysis here.

Who can vote in the Safety and Learning Bond election?

All registered voters who live in the Target Range School District can vote in the May 7 election. This is a vote-by-mail election. Ballots will go out in mid-April.

Mail ballots must be received by the Missoula County Elections office by May 7.

Ballot drop-off available at Target Range School 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 7.

Please contact the Missoula County Elections Office if you have questions about the election, your voting status, or would like to register to vote.