Sioux Falls School District to Vote on $190 Million School Bond

By Aziza Jackson

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Voters in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties will decide in September whether or not to approve a $190 million bond to build new schools in the Sioux Falls School District.

According to The Sioux Falls Argus Leader, the school district will have a new high school, middle school, and elementary school by 2024 if voters do approve the bond.

Construction of the new schools is said to address an already increased 20 percent enrollment over the last decade, in addition to a projected 10 percent increase in enrollment for the next decade, according to The Argus Leader.

According to the District’s website, over 23,000 students are currently served among 23 elementary schools, five middle schools, and three traditional high schools. Although the district has already built three schools since 2014 to address increasing enrollment, The Argus Leader reports that a new high school has not been built in 26 years, and that this would be the first bond issue since 1997.

The Argus Leader reported on Monday evening, July 23 that the school board voted unanimously to set the election date for Tuesday, Sept. 18; the district would need more than 60 percent of voters to approve the bond for it to pass.

“This is the right thing for our district,” said board member Kate Parker, to The Argus Leader. “We are a growing city, and we need to make sure the children of our city have every opportunity. That’s going to mean more facilities, so those kids have a place to be educated.”

According to an earlier report from The Argus Leader, the new high school would cost $82.4 million, less than the original estimated cost of $84.7 million, and the new middle school would cost an estimated $43.1 million.

The high school would be located on the district’s northwest side, and the middle school on the district’s southeast side.

In addition to building the new schools, The Argus Leader reports that the bond would also be used to renovate and upgrade ADA and safety requirements at other campuses, although an estimated cost has yet to be disclosed.

Reports from The Argus Leader contributed to this story.