Berthold School Expansion Turned Down | VideoHilary Zalla | 1/10/2012
270 students attend Berthold School which is 72% of kids in the district. It’s growing rapidly and school officials hoped the 12 million dollar expansion was the answer.
"How can you not vote for this when you listen to these kids and spend time in the [crammed] lunch room or LD classroom," said Peggy Person, Berthold High School principal.
She said with class sizes reaching close to 30 students, time is of the essence.
"What our options are, I’m not sure. We have to forge ahead, but were running out of options," said Person.
The district spans 60 miles from end to end. For example, the city of Makoti is about 25 miles from Berthold. Some residents there don`t think what’s happening in Berthold affects them.
"Many of them have never been in Berthold School. It’s hard for them to imagine how crowded it is," said Lori Ostrem, Makoti School Principal.
In the Makoti precinct, 13 out of 117 people voted ‘yes’ to the expansion. Ostrem said in the town of 150 people, it`s hard for some to understand Berthold`s growth.
"They don`t see it as having direct impact on them, that, although it is within our district. it is 25 miles away so not our problem," said Ostrem.
"We want people to understand the needs of our students are important and that`s critical," said Person.
The school board is going back to the drawing board to find other answers.