Bill that would allow private school campus passes 1st reading

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – It was contentious and the vote close but Senate File 49 passed first reading in the House today.

Sponsors of the bill and those behind it see it as the only recourse left to build a private school campus in South Park after receiving a thumbs down from county commissioners. Opponents of the measure say it circumvents local land regulations with state level mandates.

SF49 passed by a relatively narrow margin, 31-24. It now heads to second and third reading, likely scheduled for tomorrow and Friday. If it passes, it then moves on to the governor’s desk for signing.

The bill was born out of frustration felt by organizers behind the Jackson Hole Classical Academy. The current campus is facing overcrowding and an expiring lease. A deal was worked out to purchase property off South Park Loop Road less than a half mile from the school’s current location on High School Road, but Teton County commissioners ultimately denied the school’s bid to construct a building larger than current LDRs allow for.

SF49 now includes an amendment from the Corporations committee that the law would go into effect immediately upon the governor’s signing rather than the customary July 1. School backers say they need to get started on construction right away in order to be able to potentially move in for the 2020-21 school season.

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