BIG HORN — Sheridan County School District 1 prioritized a Ranchester construction project to help a growing facility’s infrastructure needs.

SCSD1 Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve going to bid on the Tongue River Learning Center parking lot and water line replacement projects at Tuesday’s meeting.

“It was already on the plans to be doing that in the future,” Superintendent Pete Kilbride said. “With the (Tongue River Valley) Community Center moving into there, it is seeing a lot more traffic.”

Grant monies specific to this project will be used to complete it, as those funds cannot be used to hire another teacher or staff member, Kilbride said.

The project scope includes replacing a 45-year-old water line and repairing and replacing asphaltic surface and proper drainage.

For this project to be completed as efficiently as possible, TRVCC staff had an electronic sign installed to eliminate any possibility of tearing up newly-poured surfaces in the area.

In addition, parking lot lighting will be installed for safety purposes, complying with dark sky regulations.

Business Manager Jeremy Smith said the project was moved up a year because of the showing needs of the facility.

“We moved it up one year over what I think we had intended to do it, but it has showed up on multiple iterations of our five-year plan so it’s not a surprise that we’re doing this, we just flip-flopped it a year because this day-to-day use demanded it. It is a higher priority project for us.”

The project is expected to go to bid Feb. 20 and Smith will present the “lowest responsible bid” to trustees at the board’s March meeting.

Once trustees award the bid, construction ideally would begin immediately following Memorial Day and finish before Labor Day, as programs begin in the building following Labor Day.