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City Council approves SD 25’s appeal

For months, the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District has been working on plans to upgrade Pocatello High School.

Focused on improving things like ADA accessibility and student safety, the district proposed a two-phase upgrade.

Phase one, which aims to update the main entrance to the school and creates a central office, has been underway for some time and is expected to be completed before classes resume this month.

But phase two, which would create several classrooms and connect campus buildings, was rejected by the Pocatello Historic Preservation Commission during a July 3 meeting.

Citing “the large amount of glazing, rain screen system and no contours on the glazing and rain screen system,” their rejection of the Certificate of Appropriateness meant that the district could not proceed.

So, naturally, the district appealed the decision.

On Thursday, the Pocatello City Council approved the district’s appeal, allowing them to move forward with phase two.

After the decision was rendered, district communications and community relations specialist, Courtney Fisher, said she wanted to thank Mayor Blad and the council for recognizing this “critical need.”

“Our first priority — our “why” — is our obligation to fulfill our educational promise to all learners in our community with equity and fairness,” Fisher said. “Those are two really important words within education. Every learner in our community deserves access to the same high-quality education as the next one.”

Fisher said the district was “excited” to move forward with the process.

Phase one, which is currently underway, should be completed “as close to the start of the school year as possible,” according to Fisher.

Phase two is expected to start in the late spring/summer of 2020. The district plans to have it completed during the 2021-2022 academic year.

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