New high school for Valley Springs?


VALLEY SPRINGS, S.D. (KELO) — Last week we reported on the $17 million bond issue that passed in the Brandon Valley school district.

It’s to help build new elementary schools to address a growing student population.

But that’s just the beginning of its long range education goals.

The Brandon Valley School District is bursting at the seams. Thanks to the passing a multi-million dollar bond issue, the district is looking at building two more elementary schools and eventually in six years another one east of Brandon.

“When we build an elementary on the east side, we will close the Valley Springs elementary building in preparation to open a career and technical education or STEM Academy in the community of Valley Springs for our high school,” Superintendent Jarod Larson said.

Superintendent Jarod Larson says that’s one way to alleviate some of the pressure off the high school in the future.

But some aren’t totally in favor of that idea.

Donald Johnson, who has lived in Valley Springs all his life and owns a business here, doesn’t want to see the elementary school torn down.

“You know a lot of, lot of people went to school there, you know, and I kind of, you know, my kids all went to grade school here,” Johnson said.

But the town isn’t what it used to be. It has struggled to keep businesses open. Some believe a new high school will help spur new growth.

“We’ve been really waiting for that to happen, because we don’t have a gas station or convenience stores; kind of a pain you gotta run to Brandon or run over to Beaver Creek for everything you want,” Johnson said.

While it could help the economy, Johnson still doesn’t want to lose the elementary school.

“I guess I don’t feel it is that bad shape that’s not functional. I don’t know what the big, you know, as I’ve been kind of a push it, you know they’d like to eliminate your school period but it’s kind of a nice little school. Most people that go here, loves the place, and don’t want to go anywhere else,” Johnson said.

Larson says any decision to build a new high school in Valley Springs is at least ten years down the road.

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