District breaks ground for new elementary school

Members of the Jefferson Joint School District No. 251 School Board, district administration and construction personnel break-ground for the new elementary school at 3950 E. and 200 N. in Rigby Monday. Pictured are: (left to right) Aaron Loftus, Chris Eames, Richard Stephenson, Jozlyn Thomspon, Mike Clements, Debbie Timm, Lisa Sherick, Keith Scholes, Bryce Bronson, Kevin Bodily, Clyde Southwick, Eric Jensen, Roy Ellis, Monica Pauley, Chad Martin, Mirriam Martin, Angie Robison, David Grant, Bruce Byram, Mike Peterson, Leon Clark, Leanna Poole and Michele Southwick.  

Construction of the new Jefferson Joint School District No. 251 elementary school is officially underway after district staff and construction personnel broke ground Monday afternoon.

The groundbreaking featured the complete school board as well as district administration and members of the construction team.

District Superintendent Chad Martin said a timetable for construction hasn’t officially been established, but the tentative plan is it will be completed in August 2020.

“We’re kind of at the mercy of the weather,” he said.

Martin said the 71,000-square-foot new school will be similar in appearance to South Fork Elementary but will have its own unique color scheme and the locations of a few classrooms will differ. The school will include 34 classrooms and is estimated to house 850 students.

Martin indicated that the board will receive a committee’s recommendation of the name for the school during their meeting April 10. The options include High Desert Elementary, Pioneer Elementary, Targhee Elementary, Gem State Elementary and Syringa Elementary.

In March, the Board of Trustees approved Bateman-Hall’s guaranteed maximum price of $16.9 million for the construction of the school.

A few of the subcontractors include River Construction who will be conducting the site construction ($2.1 million). IMS Masonry will do the masonry work ($2.7 million). Thomas Robison Roofing will complete the roofing ($1.2 million), and Mountain Valley Electric will do the electrical work ($1.2 million).

Kevin Bodily is the project’s architect, while Mike Clements with Bateman-Hall will be the Construction Manager and General Contractor.

Patrons of the school district voted to approve the $36 million bond in August that will cover the costs of the new elementary school. The district estimated that the new school will cost $20.3 million.

Harwood and Midway Elementary Schools will also each receive a new fire alarm system, new windows, lighting upgrades, a secure front office space and a multi-purpose room/gym for school and community use. In addition, Harwood will receive eight additional classrooms and Midway six.

The estimated combined cost for the additions is roughly $15 million.

Finally, $241,125 will go towards an additional paved parking lot at Rigby High School, and $40,000 will fund new playground equipment at Roberts Elementary School.