RCAS Board of Education hears final recommendation on bond issue

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Rapid City Area Schools Board of Education got finalized plans from the Facilities Task Force at Western Dakota Technical Institute Tuesday evening.

Community members listen in at final recommendation from Facilities Task Force at School Meeting (KEVN)

The task force and its $250-million proposal, based off of research and community feedback, sets out to build three new elementary schools, rebuild two new middle schools, renovate six more schools, while closing three others, including one they revealed Tuesday, Wilson Elementary School.

"That came from community feedback of realizing that it is an older school in one of the poorer conditions and if you close one school then you have to have a place to send the students and so that's why we have the three elementary schools that need to be built first so that we can solve some of the best incapacity issues and look at renovating the schools where we can," said Shiloh Francis, a community member on the Rapid City Facilities Taskforce.

Christine Stephenson, a School Board member, says although she is appreciative of the task force's work and does not dispute the need for new schools, she is concerned that closing schools in the center of town will encourage development on the outside edges and discourage redevelopment in the center of town.

"I just ask that we take some time, meet with city planners and give them time to really convince me that this plan is in line with the strategic plan of the city for growth," Stephenson said.

If the board passes a resolution and chooses to use the bond structure presented to them last week, homeowners could see an increase in property taxes by $1 for every $1,000 in their home's value.

The new bond structure forecasts projected growth in Rapid City over a 25-year-period

The School Board tabled the vote on the plan until their next meeting on June 10.