Two new schools could arrive in the Tri-Valley school district

Two large multi-million dollar schools could arrive in the Tri-Valley School District, the diagonal-shaped district northwest of Sioux Falls, in the coming years

The Tri-Valley school board voted four to one to move forward with a $ 52 million bond proposal Monday night, which will be presented to voters in mid-August.

Board members Ryan Fods, Paul Siemonsma, Leslie Johnson and Tom Van Asselt voted in favor of continuing the obligation, while Nicole Pullman did not.

This requirement, if passed, will allow for the completion of a five-section preschool at the fourth-grade school in Crooks by the site community center where the council voted last April, at the start of the pandemic, to use less than 1.5% of down payment certificates to start construction of a kindergarten only.

After:Parents of Tri-Valley: School district took advantage of pandemic to adopt plans for new school via Zoom meeting

If the link passes, the plan is to turn this preschool-only school, known as the Early Learning Center (ELC), into a K-4 school.

Superintendent Mike Lodmel said the surety would provide $ 9 million in funding to build the ELC. The total cost of construction can be anywhere from $ 19 million to $ 20 million, but the district will use certificates and capital outlays for the rest, he said.

The location in Crooks was chosen based on growth projections and an assessment of the origin of the majority of students, Lodmel said.

The bond also includes the construction of a new high school in Colton, east of the existing school, at an estimated cost of $ 35 million.

The bond will also cover furnishings and equipment for the new high school, the renovation of the existing building in Colton at an estimated cost of $ 8 million, and the modernization of the Colton sports complex.

After:Inside look: Tri-Valley construction task force says it will need bond to expand facilities

Tri-Valley’s new high school will span 20 acres of land the district bought last year, east of the soccer field at the existing site if the link passes, Lodmel said. And, the existing Kindergarten to Grade 12 school in Colton will become a Kindergarten to Grade 8 school.

Lodmel said this is a smart approach and will allow planning for a potential need in the distant future to build another elementary school closer to Sioux Falls.

“We think this plan prepares us for a very long time and has taken into account the potential growth that we could see in the future, and we have tried to use long-term planning in this regard,” he said. declared in an e-mail. “Choosing the existing site for this location is really a compromise for our communities. “

School in the cornfield

While some in the district are passionate about building in student growth areas only, some are also passionate about the existing site and take pride in being “the school in the middle of the cornfield,” Lodmel added.

Task Force member Jessica Alvey said the proposal would allow divided sections or some sections of Kindergarten to 4-year-olds to remain at the current site, and also keep bus schedules “reasonable” for younger students in the area. district. A five-section K-4 will add 20 more classrooms, gymnasium, cafeteria and common space.

A new high school will mean 29 additional core classrooms, which is “a lot more than what we would get by redesigning the current site,” Alvey said.

It will also add a 500-seat auditorium, a larger boutique, 490 additional parking spaces, a 1,500-seat competition gymnasium and a capacity of approximately 500 students.

The current site remodel will add restrooms, renovated changing rooms, updated media center, cupboards and storage, updated grandstands, restrooms and a maintenance workshop.

Improvements to sports facilities will include concession stands and washrooms, Alvey said.

“It’s a huge demand”

To make all of these changes as desired, however, the district will need to convince taxpayers to issue a bond, which they have not supported in recent years.

Two bonds failed at Tri-Valley in recent memory. A June 2019 bond for a three-section K-4 school in Crooks failed, as did a $ 15.6 million bond in December 2019 for a five-section K-4 school in Crooks.

Alvey estimates that the $ 52 million bond will cost $ 240 per $ 100,000 of taxpayers, or that a median house price of $ 200,000 would be $ 480 per year, or $ 40 per month.

“It’s a huge demand,” Alvey said. “We recognize it. We are very late in supporting our district.

No other option has solved the various challenges faced in infrastructure or growth in Tri-Valley, Alvey said.

If the link passes, it will be a “historic day” for the district, Lodmel said.

“We have teachers who share classrooms, which is not the most conducive to student learning,” he said. “We need classroom space and this plan will give us that classroom space, as well as not having to turn around and start all over again in the near future. “

Polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, August 17. Voters can vote at the Taopi Community Hall, the Crooks Community Center, or the Westside Lutheran Church on that date.

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