Two new school buildings could be in the works for RCAS

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Rapid City Area School Board voted unanimously to apply for a grant from the state department of education. The district wants close to 18 million in covid relief funds to build 2 new schools.

If approved the Rapid City Area School district will receive two allocations of money under the Esser funds. The first will be Esser 2 which the district has already received information about and knows how much funding they would receive. The other one is Esser 3 which the district does not know much about.

Coy Sasse, Director for Business and Support Services for RCAS said “we have not received a ton of information on that. We will hopefully be receiving our allocation amount soon. The overarching principle of the program is really to prepare for, prevent, and respond to COVID-19.”

The school board also approved that the money would be used to build two new schools. A new upgraded South Middle School as well as a new Parkview Elementary School to replace Robinsdale Elementary. The location for that new school is not yet known.

“What the board has approved is for the district to pursue those projects in the Esser application and with the use of Esser funds. But we still have some hurdles to go through first of which is we have to gain pre-approval from the state department of education to use those funds for construction purposes.”

South Middle School and Robinsdale Elementary were chosen for the construction as they are two of the older schools in Rapid. The Esser 2 grant money must be spent by September of 2022. So if this project is approved by the state, the city will get to work on it as soon as possible.

“Things will move quickly they’ll move aggressively and obviously we need to have a plan in place to ensure that we are spending those funds in the timeline that we have available.”

The upgrades to these two schools will address issues with overcrowding and indoor air quality at the facilities making the schools more ADA compliant.

Categories: Local News