Modernize and Update our High Schools
Idaho Falls School District 91 is looking at ways to modernize and update our high schools. Idaho Falls High School was built in 1952. Skyline High School opened in 1968. While the schools have undergone several renovations since they were built, their current configurations just do not support our vision of 21st Century instruction. Learn how the demands on schools have changed since IFHS and Skyline were built.
The district’s focus is on creating modern learning environments that encourage students to think critically, solve problems and prepare for success beyond high school. The buildings would feature flexible classroom space, areas where students can convene and collaborate, an infrastructure that supports today’s technology needs and that promote a feeling of safety and wellbeing for students and staff.
Work on the efforts to modernize Skyline and Idaho Falls high schools began about a year ago. What Has Happened So Far?
- The Board of Trustees last winter selected a Construction Manager/General Contractor and Design Team to explore a complete ReDesign of Idaho Falls and Skyline high schools. The board issued a Request For Qualifications and interviewed several companies. They selected Bateman-Hall as the CM/GC and Hummel/Alderson, Karst & Mitro as the Design Team.
- That team worked with teachers, administrators, parents and patrons to develop conceptual designs for a redesign of both IFHS and Skyline. They started by working with the staff and community members to identify the kinds of learning spaces and facilities they needed to support a 21st Century education. See IFHS Priorities, SHS Priorities and Conceptual Designs
- In July, board members reviewed the final report from Hummel and Bateman-Hall. It included several redesign options and cost projections for HS ReDesign projects. With cost estimates of about $40 million for Skyline and $46 million for Idaho Falls, the board decided it made sense to explore the idea of a ReBuild of IFHS at a new location.
- With the board considering a ReBuild rather than a ReDesign, it had to issue a new Request for Qualifications for a CM/GC and a Design Team. After interviewing several companies, the board in January announced Bateman-Hall as the CM/GC and Hummel/Alderson, Karst & Mitro as the Design Team to develop design concepts and cost estimates for a new school.
- In late February, Hummel will work with a team of IFHS teachers and administrators, as well as a committee of community representatives, to develop design concepts for a new high school. Watch for updates on that work, which will continue through May. Presentation from the April Community Design Workshop
- The board needs to decide on a site for the new IFHS. If necessary, the board will create a work group of parents and patrons to research possible locations.
- A bond will be needed to pay for the improvements. The board will need to decide on the amount of the bond. As part of that process, board members will review different bond scenarios and their tax implications.Learn more about some of the options the bond is considering. They also need to set a date for the election.
- The Board of Trustees also needs to decide what to do with the existing IFHS building. Some ideas include turning it into a multi-purpose building that might house the Idaho Technical Education Center, the district’s administrative offices and possible partnerships with higher ed and community entities. The City of Idaho Falls owns the civic auditorium and part of the building’s northern corridor so there are a number of issues to work through.