First day of school in Hermosa means the first day in a newly expanded building

HERMOSA, S.D. — The first day of school was also the first day in a newly expanded building for students in Hermosa.

The project in total adding about 60,000 square feet of space to the facility, including new classrooms, a library, a playground, an additional gymnasium, and band space.

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4th grader Ben cuts the ribbon on the new Hermosa School building

Phase one is complete just in time for the first day of school Tuesday, while phase two is set to be complete early next year.

The new building giving extra space for the district to grow – something superintendent Mark Naugle fully expects.

“We’ve been studying the need down here for a long time, and we’ve really experienced a great deal of growth in Hermosa. I’ve been superintendent – this is my eighth year – we’ve had five percent student growth every year I’ve been here,” says Mark Naugle, superintendent of the Custer School District.

It was also the first day of school for new Principal Frosty Paris, a former administrator in Rapid City drawn to Hermosa’s small-town-feel.

Paris says the new building is geared towards student safety – from advanced air filtration to physical security.

“I think just trying to get back to normal as best we can. Obviously our number one is always going to be student safety – that’s always number one,” Paris says.

Hermosa School celebrating the new space with school board members and project leaders on the new playground.

Various speakers were present, and after the Pledge of Allegiance, a fourth grader – named Ben – had the special honor of cutting the ribbon.

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