Sioux Falls school wish list could hit $150M
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A task force has compiled a wish list of Sioux Falls school construction and renovation projects that could hit $150 million.
The 30-member panel met Wednesday night to look at how best to address crowded classrooms in Sioux Falls public schools, the Argus Leader reported. The $150 million request was not given the go-ahead, but the task force decided to accept the package as a placeholder while it considers the amount voters could be asked to pay.
Members did agree on building a new elementary, middle and high school. The task force also set priorities on more than a dozen multi-million dollar projects to be considered. Topping the panel’s list was funding a $4.7 million land purchase to replace Whittier Middle School.
The task force agreed to recommend building a new $43 million middle school on the east side of Sioux Falls, specifically in the southeast. Members also said they would recommend construction of an $84.7 million high school on the city’s west side.
Under the panel’s plan, the northwest side of Sioux Falls also would see a $17.5 million elementary school built in that area.
All three main high schools are overcapacity. Enrollment projections also show a need for a new middle school by 2022 and a new elementary school by 2024, according to information presented to task force members.
Voters could be asked to approve a bond issue to pay for the projects as early as this fall. The task force meets May 30 before presenting the plans to the Sioux Falls School Board.
If the plans receive approval, the school board will have to consider re-drawing boundaries that determine where Sioux Falls students go to school, Superintendent Brian Maher said.
“If we pass a bond issue, that’s the next big rock for this district to take on,” Maher said.
Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com