Building project in the Lyman School District benefits students and staff

Local News

LYMAN COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — A building project for a KELOLAND school district is benefiting both students and staff.

With about 350 students, the Lyman School District has schools in both Presho and Kennebec.

Kennebec is home to the elementary school and Presho has the middle and high school, but that wasn’t always the case.

“What we had at that point was an elementary and middle school in Kennebec and then we had an elementary and high school in Presho,” principal Lyman Elementary, Rene Lillebo said.

It was eventually decided to have just the elementary in Kennebec and combine the middle and high school in Presho.

“In the summer of 2019, they broke ground here in Kennebec and Presho for two separate building projects,” Lillebo said. “In Kennebec we added on a new library, four new classrooms, and an extension to our current cafeteria, and what that did was huge, it connected two separate buildings, our elementary and our gym and kitchen were separate buildings.”

“At the Presho site along with the commons and the gym and new kitchen, they added classrooms on the south side of the building and that accommodates virtually all of the high school classes, the middle school took over the old high school area,” superintendent, Philip Schonebaum said.

This now allows for better collaboration between teachers and an easier transition for students.

“We had a second grade teacher here and a second grade teacher there and they did the best that they could to collaborate via email or phone call, but pretty much they were doing their own things, now they are right across the hall from each other and they are doing activities together or they are swapping spots, they are prepping lessons together,” Lillebo said.

A project district officials say will have benefits into the future.

“When we make decisions in schools, how does it impact our kid culture and what are we doing for kids to positively impact them, not only now but 20 years down the road from now,” Schonebaum said.

The Kennebec project was completed in December of 2019 and the Presho building was completed in August of 2020. This was the first school year staff was able to utilize the new facilities.

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