Voters in Independent School District 318 (Grand Rapids, Bigfork) on Tuesday narrowly approved a $68.9 million ballot question to construct two new elementary buildings and renovate another. The number of “yes” votes totaled 3,249, while 3,187 voted against the ballot question. A $5.1 million second ballot question addressing the district’s athletic facilities failed to garner enough public support.
Elementary students in the district are at four schools: Murphy, Southwest, Cohasset and Forest Lake, with fifth graders having been moved to the middle school. Shortened lunch periods and gym classes have been instituted due to overcrowding, and the three elementary buildings are not ADA compliant.
A recent report on enrollment trends for elementary students indicated that overcrowding will only worsen in the coming years with numbers of new students on the rise.