Trustees with the Natrona County School District unanimously approved additional construction for both of Casper’s high schools on Monday.

The board’s approval on Monday night will give contractors the go ahead to add additional square footage to Natrona County High School’s career and technical education area and to the new Kelly Walsh High School’s commons area.

District officials say the added construction will increase project costs to $530,000 at Natrona and to $115,000 at KW.

Steve Hopkins, the superintendent of the Natrona County School District, says, despite the added costs, the enhancements will bring both facilities up to district standards.

“The state standards in those areas, in our opinion, were not sufficient, so we wanted to have bigger spaces in those areas,” Hopkins said. “That additional square footage becomes an enhancement, or a cost to the school district.”

District executive director of business services Dennis Bay told trustees before the vote Monday that nearly $180,000 could be saved if trustees gave their early commitment to both projects.

If approval was given by trustees at a later date, the cost of the Natrona expansion would increase by roughly $140,000. The cost of the KW expansion would increase by about $40,000.

Hopkins says the district will fund the enhancements through board priority funding.

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