The Sioux Falls School District is one step closer to having a new high school, middle school, and elementary school as well as improvements to other buildings.

The board unanimously passed a resolution to issue $190 million in general obligation bonds and set a bond election for September 18. Following the unanimous vote Monday night, KELOLAND News caught up with two members of the school board to find out why they voted yes, and whether they were surprised that it passed unanimously.

School Board President Kent Alberty and board member Kate Parker give similar reasons for their support.

“We are growing exponentially,” Parker said. “We’ve seen the numbers, we know that we’re going to be probably about 25,000 students come five years from now, and we need the facilities to address those needs that we’re going to have.”

“To be able to meet the needs of our growing school district, we need to make an investment, and after months of conversation, 18 months of conversation, the decision needed to be made, we need to move forward, and I think it’s the right thing for our school district, it’s the right thing for our city,” Alberty said.

The fact that Monday night’s vote for a bond election was unanimous didn’t come as a surprise.

“We’ve known what the needs were going to be, we’ve seen the growth, many of us have been on the board for six, nine years, and plus, so we’ve seen the growth, and we know where we’re headed, and we know that it’s not stopping any time soon,” Parker said. 

“Doesn’t surprise me,” Alberty said. “Again, our School Board has all been very involved in this process. We’ve, we were all at the task force meetings, we were all at the community input sessions, we’ve spent several work sessions discussing this.”

It’ll need 60 percent of the public’s support on September 18 to pass. Alberty sees that happening.

“Because our community has made a commitment to our public schools for many, many years,” Alberty said.

Parker said she thinks the vote is going to pass, too.