The Sioux Falls School Board estimates it will save $800,000 each year by moving three elementary schools to one location where Mark Twain currently sits. But between now and the opening of the new school, which is scheduled for the start of the 2015-2016 school year, there's plenty of work to be done and it's not all construction.
Students and teachers will also go through a transition period but the exact details of that are yet to be worked out. The district says that students who currently go to one of the three schools that will close will either attend the new school at the Mark Twain location or the current Laura Wilder Elementary.
As for the elementary schools affected, Longfellow was built in 1916 while Mark Twain was built just four years later. They're the two oldest schools in the district. Jefferson Elementary is newer but the classrooms are much smaller than the district's current standard. Updating Longfellow and Mark Twain alone would take an estimated $8 million. The new building comes with an estimated price tag of $10-million.
The school board approval now clears the way for the district to draw up plans for the new school and eventually open bids for work.