PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) More than 50 people attended a special meeting of the Pierre School Board last week, as the board offered information on the district’s elementary school facility planning study. The meeting was held last Thursday at Riggs High School. The district currently has four elementary school buildings. Two of the four buildings-McKinley and Washington-are older structures and officials say the buildings will need some expensive upgrades in the coming years. A study was done by a Sioux Falls architectural firm suggesting some options the district can consider for its elementary buildings. Options mentioned include constructing a new elementary in northeast Pierre, expanding the district’s newer elementary buildings (Jefferson and Buchanan) and creating a new two-story structure on the grounds of the current Washington Elementary and tearing down the current building. Thursday’s meeting included a detailed financial presentation by Business Manager Darla Mayer, who stressed that a project could be financed without an increase in taxes. Jeff Hazard of Koch Hazard Architects also showed the crowd the planning study on the potential project done by his firm.
After the meeting, Superintendent Dr. Kelly Glodt said all three proposals would cost about the same-from $11 to $12 million dollars-and he has heard many comments of support for moving forth with an elementary project for Pierre.
The attendance at the meeting was not as high as school officials had hoped, but Glodt says he believes it was because many district patrons are okay with a project since it won’t entail raising taxes.
Several meeting attendees asked various questions after Thursday’s presentation.
The board declared three of its properties surplus (McKinley and Washington Schools and the Administration Building) and Glodt expects to advertise the properties for sale soon and the board will likely open bids in July. From there, Glodt says the board could make a decision on how to proceed with an elementary building plan.
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