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Parents Contemplate Elem. Consolidation

Kealey Bultena

Sioux Falls parents are considering whether their children are better off in older, revitalized school buildings close to home or in a new building that combines two current elementary schools. 

David Andersen lives near Mark Twain, a 92-year-old elementary school in Sioux Falls. One option in front of the school board is to consolidate Mark Twain students and Longfellow Elementary kids in a new building at the Mark Twain site. The other choice is that Sioux Falls can spend millions upgrading the aging schoolhouses. Andersen says he’s weighing the advantages and drawbacks of each plan.

Well you know there always can be benefits of new facilities. You can do things differently that they couldn’t do a hundred years ago. It’s hard to maintain old buildings. I like the character of the building a lot. I like the overall population of it."

Andersen says he plans to do more research and talk to parents and teachers before deciding what’s best for his daughter. He and other parents we spoke to say they believe school board members when they say they’re considering all options for the schools.

The Sioux Falls School Board hosts an additional public input session in a couple of weeks.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).