PARSHALL, N.D. (AP) — A school district in western North Dakota is looking to replace its elementary and high school buildings with a new K-12 school.

A public vote is scheduled for Aug. 22 on a $5.4 million bond for the Parshall school district on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, The Bismarck Tribune reported.

Superintendent Beth Shwarz said the two schools are facing structural and asbestos issues. She assures that the schools are safe for the time being, but she fears the issues could pose a problem if left unattended.

"You don't want something to happen, like somebody drops something on the floor and it causes a bunch of tiles to crack," Superintendent Beth Shwarz said. "Is it safe? Yes. Is it as safe as it should be? No."

Schwarz said both schools also lack sprinklers and have outdated fire alarm systems. The lack of safety and security is "paramount to why we need to do something," she said.

A facilities study conducted by the district in January revealed the cost to repair the buildings and bring them to a "safe level" would be $6.8 million, she said. But that cost didn't include security issues, space needs and modernizing classrooms.

Schwarz said she's "cautiously optimistic" that the bond will be approved.

Parshall School Board President Michelle Hoff said she's taking comments from those who are for and against the bond.

"I'm getting both sides. I have friends and area people around us who are choosing to take their kids elsewhere, and so how can we convince them to come to Parshall?" Hoff said.

The schools were built in the 1960s.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune,