Written by John Plestina
With no affordable rental housing available in Bainville, the school district is considering building two apartment buildings with two to four units each to accommodate housing needs for new teachers.
School trustees considered options during their monthly meeting Wednesday, March 12.
As nearby North Dakota becomes one of the most active oil and natural gas drillings states because of the Bakken Oil Field, the oil boom in western North Dakota has spread across the state line into eastern Roosevelt County, forcing real estate and rental housing prices to rise due to the demand caused by oilfield workers looking for housing in Bainville and Culbertson and commuting to oilfield jobs at Sidney and Williston, N.D., or farther.
District maintenance supervisor Chuck Hyatt said the cost of hookups for water for each unit would be $7,380. He also said two off-street parking spaces per unit are required. Hyatt said sewer and water connections are available at two sites the school district is considering for construction of new teacher housing.
Superintendent Renee Rasmussen said she will look at the building reserve fund, but she didn’t know if the needed funding was available.
Hyatt said the district has back-burnered floor replacements in classrooms to retain the funding.
“Indirectly, we’re spending it on the school because we’ll be getting the kind of teachers we want,” Rasmussen said.
Acting board chair Chanon Romo said providing teacher housing is a priority need for the district.
School board member Dustin Harmon said the district will obtain estimates and will advertise for construction bids.
The school district has purchased the “Wilde House,” an older single-family house that could be remodeled into apartments for teachers. The trustees discussed the building but no decision has been made of whether it will be used for housing.