RCAS pushes back bond election, aims to increase awareness

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A bond vote for Rapid City Area Schools is up in the air after the school board voted Thursday night to rescind the issuance of a bond election.

Five board members voted to push the date back, one abstained from the vote, and one other member was not present for the vote. The RCAS board passed the resolution to authorize the election one month ago. The election date was set for Sept. 17.

According to the community relations specialist with the district, Katy Urban, the overall plan for the bond will not change but the board wants to give the community more time to assess the plan and fully understand the need.

“They just felt like it’s a lot to ask and there’s a lot involved,” said Urban. “They wanted to make sure they had adequate time to really inform the public through tours and things like that about what the plan entailed.”

Since the announcement of the bond proposal, the district has been holding engagement sessions to provide information and also to gain feedback. Urban says the turnout was “either great or could have been better.”

“We were hearing from the business community that they just heard from people here and there that they don’t understand this bond,” said Urban. “They don’t understand the need.”

Overall she says the district has been pleased with the feedback they have received.

The bond proposal would cover three new elementary schools, the rebuilding of two middle schools, and renovations to six more schools.

Urban says the need is only growing and time is not on the district’s side so priority is getting the election out as soon as possible.

“It really was a matter of timing and I think there were enough people that said ‘hey, I think we should push it out’ for the board to say, we want this to be successful so we’re going to wait,” said Urban.

Moving forward, the district plans to continuously try to inform the public via tours of buildings, presentations that are informative about the plan and the needs of the district.

“I think you have to hit every platform, from social media to the paper to in person so that’s going to be our challenge,” said Urban. “Making sure we’re covering all of our bases…this is about all of us whether you have kids in the district or not, we want you to learn more.”

There is no date set for when this issue will be taken up again.

Categories: Local News