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Pocatello/Chubbuck School District Board of Trustees Advances Highland High School Rebuild Project

First page of the PDF file: 2024-06-24HighlandHSDrawings_WatermarkExteriorRenders

At a Special Meeting on Monday, June 24, the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District Board of Trustees granted permission to move forward with the final draft of the conceptual drawings, floor plan, and estimated budget for the Highland High School Rebuild Project: Rebuilding Highland website. The district estimates the project will be completed by the fall of 2027.

The proposed floor plan for the project is the culmination of the collaboration of the Highland High School Rebuild and Design Committee. The committee includes a core committee, as well as representatives from Highland High School staff, parents, and community members. The purpose of the Highland High School Rebuild and Design Committee has been to provide parent and patron input on the design and rebuild of Highland High School based on established criteria, consider input from the Construction Management Team, and advise the Board throughout key phases of the project. The committee convened the first week in April. Members of the committee attended tours of 6A schools in Eastern Idaho. The committee will continue to meet for the duration of the Highland High School rebuild project.

“The collaboration of the committee has brought us one step closer to rebuilding Highland High School with a vision for the future,” said Dr. Douglas Howell, Superintendent. “We appreciate the dedication and hard work of the committee members, whose contributions and vested interest in the success of this project has been invaluable as we move forward in this year-long rebuild process.”

Nearly a year into the process, the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 Board of Trustees, together with Highland and District administration, has worked diligently with meticulous planning to rebuild and restore the affected areas of the school as soon as possible. Ruled accidental and electrical in nature, the fire left behind a trail of lost or damaged facilities, including the gymnasium, cafeteria, weight room, band/orchestra room, and choir room.

The budget estimate for the project is $64 million, which the district will fund with the insurance replacement settlement in combination with new state funding created by Idaho’s landmark legislation providing $43 million to the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District to fund facilities construction.

"After the devastating fire, Highland’s future was uncertain, but recent legislation has secured funding for an updated school. The design process, which typically takes 8 to 10 months, is underway, and we are excited to be on a positive trajectory towards returning Highland to a functional school at today’s standard," said Deanna Judy, Board Chair.

The substantial funding injection empowered the district to undertake the comprehensive rebuilding project immediately rather than run another bond proposal. The priority is to restore essential facilities and implement modern amenities to enhance the learning experience at Highland. In total, Highland lost approximately 75,000 square feet of space. The project includes: (a) replacing facilities lost or damaged in the April 2023 fire, (b) adding, remodeling, and modernizing science classrooms, (c) replacing and increasing the size of the gymnasium and activity space, (d) constructing an auditorium.

The district plans to host an open house at Highland High School in mid to late August and invite community members to learn more about the rebuild project. In the meantime, a draft of the proposed plans and a comprehensive history on the issue may be reviewed on the Rebuilding Highland website.

  • Fire
  • HHS
  • Highland
  • Rebuild