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Boise School District delays work on some school remodels, new Barber Valley school

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The Boise School District said it would “pause” three school remodel projects in the district, and further delay the opening of a new school in Barber Valley.

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The district informed the Barber Valley Neighborhood Association of the moves in a letter late last week.

Expansion and remodel projects at Longfellow, Collister and Roosevelt schools will stop in the current pre-bid phase.

“While we have been able to cover some rising construction costs from our general fund
budget, we cannot assume those dollars will be there as we plan for the future,” Timberline Area Quadrant Director Brian Walker wrote in the letter.

Barber Valley School on hold

Previous site plan map for the Harris Ranch school (Marked “Option B”).

The district will also push back a long-awaited school in Boise’s Barber Valley. The previously district told BoiseDev it hoped to have the school open between 2020 and 2023 — but it now wouldn’t open until 2024.

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“We were working towards an earlier opening of 2022 which was two years ahead of schedule.
However, due to the coronavirus crisis and the economic uncertainty, that does not seem advisable at this point,” Walker wrote. “Although we are pausing the construction timeline of the project we will continue the design phase of the project during the fall of 2020.”

The district also walked back a plan to use a village green across a public street from the school for outdoor activities. The developer of the Harris Ranch subdivision wanted to put the school on one block, with the playfield on a shared ‘village green’ area, which students would get to by crossing a public street.

Some neighbors complained about safety and security and cited state law on school site size.

Walker said “after several attempts to reconcile concerns from all stakeholders,” the district received a promise from the developer to dedicate additional land near the site for a play field, and move a parking garage.

A number of other projects already in the construction phase will remain on track.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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