SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After being 15 votes shy of the needed margin in March, a $6 million bond in the Castlewood School District passed this week. The bond needed 60% to pass and it got exactly that.
Superintendent Peter Brooks said 315 of the 525 total voters approved the bond. The bond money will be used for improvements as part of an overall project to repair damage and replace what was lost in the May 2022 tornado that struck the school.
The district plans to start as early as possible on the kitchen and cafeteria portion of the multiple-phase project, Brooks said.
The district will use $5.6 million from its insurance company to repair and replacement of the gymnasium, stage, classrooms, library, locker rooms, weight room, kitchen, and cafeteria, according the school’s website. Another $2 million in insurance money is for the roof.
The $6 million bond will be used for an expanded cafeteria, additional and expanded classrooms and expanded gym space.
Brooks said between the March and October votes, the district was able to answer the public’s questions with more information about insurance coverage and FEMA’s role in the project.
The $5.6 million in insurance money is for a rebuild but as of now, FEMA will not provide money, Brooks said.
The bond drew 105 more voters this week, he said.
The bad weather was a factor in March and on election Tuesday, and, also, the school’s boys basketball team was in a playoff game at Fort Pierre, Brooks said.
The bond vote failed to reach the 60% mark in March by 15 votes.
Brooks said because the district was able to provide more detail and answer the public’s questions before the October vote, he believed the bond would pass with a larger margin.
“I was surprised it came down to as tight as it was,” Brooks said.
The kitchen and cafeteria work should start sooner than the rest of the project. Brooks said the school board be getting bids on classrooms and the remainder of the project. The plan would be to start the classrooms before the other phases, he said.