GFPS gets state approval for planned use of COVID relief funds for facility improvements

Great Falls Public Schools is planning to use some federal COVID relief funds for facility improvement projects.

The projects, that were approved by the school board in October, include work at Meadow Lark Elementary, Valleyview Elementary, Riverview Elementary, Sacajawea Elementary, Loy Elementary and Sunnyside Elementary schools and C.M. Russell High School.

The district submitted those proposed projects to the Montana Office of Public Instruction and the state approved the construction requests in December, according to the district.

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The projects are being designed by Cushing Terrell Architects and Nelson Architects.

Bid advertisement dates include Jan. 24 for the Valleyview and CMR projects; Feb. 14 for the Sacajawea and Riverview
projects and Feb. 28 for the Loy and Sunnyside projects.

The bid submission dates are Feb. 15, March 1 and March 15, respectively.

A pre-bid walkthrough will be held at each site.

GFPS planning to use ARPA funds for facility improvements, new classrooms

The list of bidders, including the lowest responsible bidder, for each project will be brought to the board for approval.

The American Rescue Plan Act funds, which are federal COVID relief funds, for schools must be spent by Sept. 30, 2024, according to district staff.

Brian Patrick, GFPS business operations manager, said that the cost estimates could change due to supply chain and labor shortage issues.

The district is planning to use the funds as follows: