Kuna will become the ninth city in Idaho with more than one public traditional high school when a second high school opens in 2019 or 2020.
Kuna is the 14th biggest city in Idaho, but the Kuna School District is the 12th largest in the state and the city’s population is expected to double in about 20 years.
“We predict more than 400 homes will be built every year with .56 students per home,” district spokesman David Reinhart said, adding that each year could add 260 students to the Kuna district.
Kuna voters in March approved a $40 million bond not only to build a new 500-student high school but also add four classrooms at Reed and Silver Trail elementary school; add 10 classrooms and a cafeteria to convert Teed Elementary into a middle school; renovate Kuna Middle School and add a multi-purpose room at Kuna High School.
Kuna now has one middle and one high school.
“Two years ago we noticed our growth was more pronounced on the secondary level than the elementary level,” he said. “Older couples further along in their careers are moving to Kuna. Some of the newer homes are a little more expensive.”
Kuna has some 24 housing developments in the works with as many as 3,500 anticipated homes listed in city records. Some developments have homes starting at around $180,000 but numerous start in the mid-$200,000s and range upward to $500,000, according to numerous home developers.
Kuna High School, which was built in 2002, has an official capacity of 1,500 students but now has 1,700 students, Reinhart said.
“It’s noticeably crowded,” he said. “Teachers cannot stay put all day. Almost every classroom is used every period. Teachers are moving every period.”
Two portables with three classrooms each were added this year.
A name has not been selected for the second high school. Construction for the new high school will start in spring.
LKV Architects of Boise is the architect for all the Kuna school projects. Beniton Construction of Meridian is the construction manager for the high school and the middle school conversion.
The new high school will start with capacity for 500 students but is designed for additional wings to reach 1,500 students at a future date, Reinhart said.
He said the district had to limit the May bond to $40 and a 1,500-student high school would have cost an estimated $70 million to $80 million. Reinhart anticipates the district will seek voter approval for a new bond in three to five years.
The new high school will be located at the northern end of the Kuna School District on 60 acres at Columbia and Linder roads.
Varsity athletes at the second high school will join the teams at Kuna High School, Reinhart said.