- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Construction is underway on a $57 million high school in Williston to accommodate a rapidly growing student body.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday for the facility, which is expected to be ready in the fall of 2016, KXMC-TV reported (https://bit.ly/1qrf0SH ).

“Every day our students and staff are doing remarkable, significant and awe-inspiring things. We’re just excited that now the outside of our building will reflect what’s going on on the inside,” Principal Jason Germundson said.

City voters in June approved a $34 million bond issue - and higher property taxes - to help pay for the school. The City Commission in August approved the annexation of 35 acres of farm land donated by resident Orville Erickson to accommodate the new school.

School district enrollment in the western oil patch hub has increased more than 40 percent over the past five years, to about 3,500 students. People from around the country are flocking to the region in search of jobs - many of them bringing families with them - and officials project enrollment to grow by more than 1,300 students in the next five years.

The district has been using portable classrooms to handle the larger student body. More than 700 students attend classes in the temporary facilities.


Information from: KXMC-TV, https://www.kxnet.com

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