WEST FARGO — In an effort to keep equity among the schools of the West Fargo School District, the School Board approved plans to invest in upgrading the bleachers at West Fargo High School.

Board member Patti Stedman said the renovation has a been a district goal for many years and was once included in a bond referendum. It was eventually left off the project list as the district had more pressing needs, such as new elementary schools to accommodate the fast-growing student population.

However, the bleacher project is expected to cost more than at other district schools due to the larger size of West Fargo High School, which holds about 1,800 rather than the 1,100 capacity at Sheyenne High School, said board president and former West Fargo High School teacher Jim Jonas.

Business manager Levi Bachmeier said the lowest base bid for the project of $216,505 was $183,495 less than the amount budgeted for the project. However, with add-ons, the project will cost about $470,000.

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Bachmeier said he favored including the logo in the bleachers: West Fargo Horace High School will feature its Hawks logo when finished.

"It's an an opportunity to increase our school spirit where we can and still be fiscally responsible," Bachmeier said.

The School Board unanimously awarded the project for $469,559.

The project would begin next summer and is expected to be finished by the start of the 2022-23 school year.