Whitefish School District Is Selling the Old To Pay For The New - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Whitefish School District Is Selling the Old To Pay For The New

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WHITEFISH -

Whitefish school district may have found a way out of its budget problems.

The $19 million effort to build a new high school is about $250,000 over budget at last check.

This also means some students would be learning in a new building next year.

"I like new beginnings," said Elly Starling, a junior at Whitefish Independent High School.

This is probably Elly's last year in the building on Park Avenue. Next year, if everything goes according to plan, Elly will graduate in the new Whitefish High School being built now.

"It's kind of nice to update things after a while, but I think we're all kind of sad about letting this building go," said Elly.

After nearly a year on the market, the Whitefish school board chair, Pat Jarvi, says a buyer has offered $450,000 for the Independent High School, a place where students who find themselves struggling their freshman year can go and still graduate on time.

"I'm sure it will be residential of some sort or another, probably apartments," predicted Jarvi.

The school district won't say who the potential buyer is just yet, but Jarvi says the deal is for students to finish up the year, then start next year in the brand new high school.

Even though they will be in the same building, the nearly 25 students at the Independent High School will be in a completely separate part of the high school, with their own place to park and their own entrance.

"It would be much handier, much easier for them to participate in as much of the regular high school as they wanted, or as little," explained Jarvi.

Not everything is set in stone yet. The closing date is March 28.

"The money would come immediately," said Jarvi, "which would take care, as you said, of our budget issues with the high school building project."

It's an old building that is costing the district more and more to keep up, but no one is saying the move is going to be easy.

"This building has a lot of memories in it," said Elly, "definitely, like, if these walls could talk the things that it would say would probably just blow everyone's mind."

The Whitefish school board approved the buy-sell agreement on February 18.

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