Simplified: One of South Dakota's fastest-growing school districts has identified a plot of land for a new elementary school.

Why it matters:

  • Earlier this year, Tea administrators presented a plan to school board members to build a new $15.6 million elementary school modeled after the existing Venture Elementary.
  • The new building is part of a larger plan to accommodate the fast-growing district, which Superintendent Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery said is expecting 950 more students in the next five years.
  • The school board approved $362,000 for purchase of land for a new elementary school during an April board meeting, and work related to addressing fast-filling schools started last fall.
  • The elementary school site – announced Tuesday on the Tea Area Schools Facebook page – is located on North Main and Quintin Ave, directly northeast of Howling Ridge development on the north side of town.
"Our school board has always stressed the importance of neighborhood schools for our elementary students," said Kristen Daggett, Tea Area school board president. "This location allows us to continue to fulfill that goal for the community."

What happens next?

Before the new elementary school, Tea plans to address growth at the high school level with a $28 million high school addition expected to be done Fall 2024, the district announced earlier this year.

Officials are also looking at rearranging grades to create elementary schools that end at fourth grade, turn Legacy Elementary into a fifth and sixth grade intermediate school, and keep the middle school to just seventh and eighth graders.

The elementary school is slated to open in 2026 if all goes to plan, and it'll have space for another 670 students.

"If you drive around Tea and our district in the southwestern area of Sioux Falls, you can see the new rooftops going up," Daggett said. "All of those rooftops have new Titans that need a place to learn and grow."