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Corvallis taxpayers will decide whether to pay for $23.5 million in school improvements at the June 3 primary election.

The plan envisions turning the Corvallis Primary School from a K-4 building to a K-2 building to relieve overcrowding. Grades 3-5 would move into the two main high school buildings. The bond would cover classroom renovations and replacement of the 1940s-era heating system.

Corvallis Middle School would become a grade 6-8 program. Four new classrooms would be added to accommodate growth. It would also use the high school's gym, music, industrial arts and other classrooms as needed.

A new high school would be built southwest of the football field on a 20-acre plot east of the Eastside Highway. It would hold 700 students with space for further expansion. It would have a 400- to 500-seat auditorium and a gym with seating for 1,500.

The existing district lunch room would be remodeled to serve grades 3-8.

The bond would increase property taxes by 143 mills in the Corvallis School District. The bonds would be paid back over 20 years.

The district has more than 1,400 students enrolled.

The last bond passed in the district was for $3.95 million in 1996. Although enrollment has leveled off lately, school officials said they expect continued growth in the Corvallis area. They also were concerned about the dependence on modular classrooms, outdated heating systems and inadequate industrial arts, science and gym space. The bond would also provide an auditorium, which the district currently lacks.

More information is available at corvallis.k12.mt.us or by calling 961-4302 or the Corvallis Schools superintendent's office at 961-4211.

The public can view the proposed plans at an open house from 4:30 to 6 p.m. April 10 in the Corvallis High School library.

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