On Tuesday, June 25, board members of Williston Public School District No. 1 held a building and grounds committee meeting to discuss fundraising efforts to improve the district’s schools.

At the meeting, board President Joanna Baltes reported that her initial proposal to the Williston Coyote Foundation was well received.

“They’re really excited about our proposal that we laid out at our last board meeting,” Baltes said. “We wanted to make sure they were on board with what we wanted to do because we know we’re going to have to do some fundraising. It was great, they loved the presentation.”

The board has been considering ways to deal with increasing enrollment and overcrowding after two attempted to pass a $60 million bond to pay for two 600-student elementary schools and an addition to Williston High School.

A recent grant from the state will be used to pay for part of a small addition to the common area of WHS.

Last year, with an enrollment of more than 4,350 students, nearly every building in the district was at or over capacity. Projections have put enrollment for next school year at more than 4,600.

Baltes indicated the target dollar amount for a successful fundraiser to be between $3 million and $5 million. Moving forward, Baltes also mentioned mid-August as a possible deadline in order to secure any commitments which can help finalize a project proposal to the Coyote Foundation.

“If we can spend the next couple of weeks pushing this proposal, and showing them a presentation, by the middle of August, we want to be able to show as a board that we feel comfortable we have enough commitments for the project going forward,” Baltes continued.

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