Superintendent's Message

My notes from The Design Oversight Committee meeting - 12/19/2017.


In attendance: Danielle Blanc, Christine Boles, Bill Bosslet, Doug Brown, Courtney Carrier,  Delane Duffy, Zach Duval, Jason Hatton,  John Hollensteiner, Ross Lackey, Stephen L’Heureux, Luke Johnson,  Rose McIntyre, Joe Price, Rachel Stevens, Coleene Torgerson


Reviewed goals from November 30 meeting:

  • Bring value to the community
  • Leave sufficient funds for fixtures, furniture, and equipment
  • Be mindful of maintenance costs as well as first costs
  • Create a welcoming environment
  • Provide a safe and secure environment
  • Incorporate natural light and “openness”
  • Build with the future in mind (especially technology)
  • Flexibility
  • Flow
  • Create a plan that works if we need to move 5th grade to SMS
    • Create a 5th & 6th grade area
    • Include 5th grade teachers in design process
  • Separate the stage from the gym (connect to Commons?)
  • Create a design that will be welcoming and accommodating for community use
  • Design the gym to accommodate multiple practices at the same time
  • Pay attention to outdoor spaces too (there is currently $500,000 in budget for site-work)
  • Wood floor in gym
  • Shop and Maker Space designed toward students’ career development

Discussed additional goals:

  • Preserve sufficient funds for Phase 2 construction (full-use gym)
  • Science lab in addition to classroom
    • Explore question of whether the 6th (and 5th) grades need a Science lab
  • Flexible learning spaces
  • Keep focus on student learning
  • Accommodate growth in enrollment (designed for 270 at current class sizes – could accommodate a lot more students if we had to put 30 in a class).
  • Better traffic flow for drop-off/pick-up and buses
  • Better parking
  • Update existing rooms in 1993 wing (and repair infrastructure issues, i.e., water pipes)
  • Maintain a safe, educational environment during construction
  • Plan for a year without a gym
  • Space connected to Special Education area for students in need
  • Space for child care
  • More storage for the Music room (to accommodate 5th grade)
  • Student gathering spaces
  • Stage to accommodate 60 people


We also discussed the Phasing of the construction:

Phase 1 will begin as soon as school is out (if not before).  This will include the additions on the east and west sides of the 1993 wing.  This phase should be completed in July 2019, to allow a month for moving stuff and addressing any issues.

Phase two, beginning in June 2019, will include demolition of the 1953 and 1967 wings, and construction of the addition north of the 1993 wing (which includes the gym).  This phase should be completed in July 2020.


The District will release an RFQ (request for qualifications) for a General Contractor/Construction Manager (GCCM) on January 3rd.  We expect to have the GCCM on board by February.


Mr. Hollensteiner initiated a discussion of an architectural theme for the building.  It was suggested that a focus on the lumbering history of Somers does not do much to distinguish us from many other communities.  A focus on Flathead Lake with a nautical theme may highlight some of the more unique recreational opportunities of Somers.


Next meeting will be Thursday, January 11th, at 3:45 P.M. in the Middle School Conference Room.


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Somers Lakeside School District 29315 School Addition Rd.
Somers, MT 59932