This is a paid piece from the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.
Simplified: Voters in Tri-Valley are set to decide whether to spend $52 million to build a new high school, complete a new elementary school and renovate the current facility.
Why it matters:
- The Tri-Valley School District northwest of Sioux Falls is expecting to see its student body double in the next decade, and at just under 1,000 students, the existing building is already over capacity, according to a recent report.
- Tri-Valley has tried and failed to pass bonds for smaller-scale projects in recent years, but Superintendent Mike Lodmel said the difference is more people know the extent of facilities needs this time around.
- The new schools and improvements would also allow Tri-Valley to better keep up with growth.
"Schools form the foundation of local communities, and a strong school system in Tri-Valley will support continued economic growth as both homes and businesses come to the area," said Jesse Fonkert, president and CEO of the Sioux Metro Growth Alliance.
Tell me more about what the bond will fund
The biggest expense is the construction of a $35 million new high school building, which would be located just east of the football field.
- That includes 29 classrooms, a 500-seat auditorium, a 5,000 square-foot shop and about 500 more parking spaces.
The new elementary school would be a build-out of the Early Learning Center in Crooks.
- About $9 million would fund 20 additional classrooms as well as a gym, cafeteria and common area.
- Grades K-4 would be split between the current school building and this new facility.
Upgrades to the current K-12 school – which would be a K-8 school once the new high school is completed – include additional restrooms, remodeled locker rooms and more storage.
- The $8 million remodel also includes outdoor improvements like updated grandstands.
What happens if the bond doesn't pass?
That's a real question, Lodmel said, and one he doesn't yet have an answer to.
"We currently have done about everything we can do to make due with the space that we currently have," he said, "such as teachers sharing classrooms, turning teacher workrooms into classrooms, etc."
A flyer funded by "Vote Yes for Tri-Valley" explains that without the added space, teachers will continue sharing rooms and managing overcrowded classrooms.
It may also become necessary to use portable classrooms to ease crowding, the flyer reads.
What do I need to know for election day?
The election will be held Tuesday, Aug. 17 with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Registered voters who live in the Tri-Valley School District are eligible to vote. Find polling places here.