Building Updates


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9.1.2019  Kessler School has a new computer lab and music room, their gym floor has been refinished, they have a new pathway outside, their building was painted outside, and their curbs were repaired in our parking lot.


The priorities of the district for the safety, security, and technology components of the bond are:

  • Communications System Platform

  • Single points for public entry

  • Electronic Access Control on specific exterior doors

  • Interactive Classroom Video Conferencing system


The communications system platform will provide an updated unified platform for providing phones, bell, intercom, public address, and emergency notifications in an integrated fashion. Currently, our phone system is failing an there are no parts available to fix the systems. In some schools, like Helena Middle School, we have “ghost bells” that randomly go off during the day. The manufacturer no longer supports the system and is unable to resolve the issue. Our intercom and public address systems are at their capacity and we are unable to extend the system into additional classrooms and areas in use during the day. The new communications system that will be installed as a result of the passage of the bond is a state of the art flexible and scalable system, allowing the district to grow as needed. It is also based on industry wide standards that will allow us to replace components as needed without the “fork lift upgrade” whereby all systems have to be replaced at once. This new unified communications system provides the necessary capabilities to ensure that we communicate with our faculty and staff in the most effective and efficient ways possible.


Some of our schools have visible single points of entry. For the public, you know when you walk up to the building where to enter and where the main office is. However, this isn’t always the case. In some cases the doors are open and you could walk around for a long time before finding staff that can help you. With this project, we will be looking at each individual school, K-8, and implementing a plan to increase visibility of the main entrance, and to provide ease of access to the main office. This will assist the public as well and allowing us the opportunity to ensure that our students are safe from those that should not be wandering around our buildings.


Our buildings are currently secured by traditional key lock mechanisms. The cost of replacing these if keys are lost or stolen is a huge burden on the district. There are also times when the public needs access to the spaces inside the buildings. In this scenario, either a key needs to be given, or a custodian must open and relock doors, many times after hours. We will be implementing electronic access controls on key exterior doors throughout the district. These are much like the systems that are installed in large buildings and campuses. With this system, we can program doors to be open and locked based on dates/times that use is needed. In addition, if there is an emergency that requires all of the doors at a building or across the district, key staff can instantaneously lock the doors without each door needing to be physically visited. The system will tie to the communications system, so that doors can be easily opened for visitors, or in an emergency, communicate the emergency to the building and at the same time lock the doors.


For the interactive video conferencing system, we are finding more teachers across the district that want to connect their classrooms to other classrooms and professionals around the world. How engaging would it be to learn about the French culture with students from France? This interactive video conferencing system is mobile and will provide the ability for an entire classroom to participate, instead of being clustered around a small laptop screen or mobile device.  Click here to view the 2018 Safe School Summary.


For more than 60 years, CWG Architects has designed spaces to make long-lasting impressions on communities and provide efficient and beautiful places to live, work, and play for generations. From our first design to our most recent projects, quality is our signature.


At CWG we’re constantly seeking creative solutions that fit our clients’ needs and take our work to the next level. With an emphasis on collaboration, we are pioneering new approaches to architecture, interior design, project management, and planning.


Every client is unique and every project is different. The spaces we design go beyond structure, purpose, and aesthetic. They are personal, and we strive for a client-centered approach that creates a meaningful connection between people and design.



As this process continues we will have more to share with you. From blueprints to groundbreaking ceremonies. Continue following along via Facebook, signing up for updates or checking back in with this website. We are excited for the months to come and look forward to sharing it with you every step of the way. 


Helena School District 

55 S Rodney St, Helena, MT 59601

(406) 324-2000

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