LAND & BUILDING

Requirements for Land:
  • Zoning to allow for a school
  • Prefer 7-20 acres with room to grow
Preferred for Land:
  • Geographically north of Bozeman
    • ​We love Springhill and have been in the community since 2001.
    • Approximately 65% of our families are part of the Springhill community and surrounding area.
    • Our community loves the agricultural heritage, the open space, and the access to nature.
       
Additional Considerations: 
  • One of our school's core values is: "Great Beginnings promotes an understanding of the inter-connectedness of the natural world, including the care for something other than ourselves, and the mindfulness of a larger world."
  • Our school's expansion is supported by our Board and teachers. We have wanted to expand, but we want to expand intentionally.
  • We want to keep our flagship school and not unduly affect any of our current programming.
  • We want to offer the same loving, nurturing, Montessori environment that has always been Great Beginnings, while giving children more room to run outdoors. 

Expansion: Building Vision

Historical Timeline for Land and Building Search: 

2014:

  • Board of Directors supports the expansion plan.

  • Programming expansion to start with expanding ages/ classrooms/ grades: (toddlers, preschool,  lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and beyond).

  • Programming expansion options differ for academic school year and summer camp offerings. 

2015:

  • Health Inspector determines that the septic system on the Springhill campus cannot exceed 52 children per day. This is supported with a year of data collection overseen by Allied Engineering. No additional structures/ children can be added to the Springhill location. 

  • Board oversees letter writing to all neighbors with land adjacent to school. Multiple meetings ensue with land owners, and no neighbors are willing to sell property. 

  • Board members enter into a thorough property search for all of Bozeman and surrounding areas, seeking a parcel with zoning conducive to building a school/ remodeling a building into a school. 

 

2016:

  • School goes under contract for a property at the corner of McIllhattan and Manley Road. Property is 7-acres with one home and two outbuildings. 

  • School withdraws from contract after professional review from Allied Engineering determines that combined floodplain and setback issues will make a conditional use permit for a school unlikely.

 

2017:

  • The Building Committee undergoes a request for proposals process to hire an architecture firm. 

  • School goes under contract for a 27-acre parcel at the corner of Springhill Road and Airport Road. 

  • GBMS enters into a contract with Comma-Q Architecture.

  • Yellowstone Bank commits their support for the school expansion. 

  • School withdraws from Springhill/ Airport Road contract after an open meeting with the HOA of Spain Bridge  where residents verbally threaten a lawsuit  if the school builds adjacent to their subdivision. 

2018:

  • After investigating multiple land opportunities, the Board chooses two final parcels:

    • Interim plan by renting space within the Foothills Fellowship Church

      • Open a third preschool classroom for 2017/18

      • Open a lower elementary (1st - 3rd grade) for 2018/19 in a yurt

    • Long range plan ​with two options:

      • Purchase of "dream property" with 40-acres on the Westlake Farm two miles from Springhill campus. ​

      • Negotiations with Foothills Fellowship for expanded programming options. 

 Why is the time to establish an expanded school program

‘right’ now?

  • The encouragement from current families to expand programming has never been more robust.

  • The Waiting List for our school is 2+ years long. There is a crisis for early childhood programs and families in the Gallatin Valley, and we want to be part of the solution. Read more about it HERE. 

  • Additionally, our teachers have spent the past three years pursuing continuing education, and our school currently has a high number of in-house, professionally certified-teachers (both traditional and Montessori). See who they are HERE.   

  • Want to know more about our Academic Programming Vision? Click HERE.    

© 2018 Great Beginnings Montessori School

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