East Idaho High School Renovation Plan Raises Questions About Public Input

Apr 19, 2019

Part of the renovation plan for Pocatello High School would add a new entrance to the building's east side (pictured). The entrance, which would lead to the school's offices, would also include ramps to make the old building more ADA compliant.
Credit Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25

A debate is swirling around the campaign to upgrade parts of the historic Pocatello High School. At a meeting of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission this week, questions of public input on the project were raised.

Pocatello High School was first built in the early 1890s and was one of the Gate City’s grandest buildings. A fire wiped out the original structure in 1914, but the school was rebuilt in the same location. It got a big overhaul in 1939 and became the building it is today.

A group called Save Pocatello High School is unhappy with the city’s renovation plan, which is expected to cost at least $7.5 million. When the group’s leader, Steven McCurdy, attempted to speak at a Wednesday night meeting of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, a video from the Idaho State Journal reveals things got ugly when McCurdy asked to speak.

Despite adjourning, McCurdy went to the podium and made his remarks as the room emptied.

A supporter of McCurdy’s held up a sign claiming historic commissions in other cities, like Twin Falls and Nampa, include time for public comment. In Pocatello, there was no action item on the meeting’s agenda for public comment and the incident did not violate the state’s open meeting law.

Phase one of the Pocatello High renovation could begin construction as soon as the summer.

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