HARRISBURG, S.D. (KELO) — Early voting is underway on a $60 million bond that would create more space for students in the Harrisburg School District.
If the plan gets the green light from voters, a new middle school will be built near Southeastern and 69th.
Plus, a freshman academy would go up near South Cliff and 85th.
It would later be expanded to a full high school once student population reaches a certain level.
Over the past decade, the Harrisburg School District has seen an average increase of 300 students per year.
Growth is expected to continue.
Harrisburg Superintendent Tim Graf says projections show the district will add 3,000 new students at minimum over the next decade.
Graf says the district is already dealing with overcrowding.
“Especially at North Middle School, and with our elementary grades being significantly larger than what our high school grades are we know that that need at the middle school and high school levels are going to continue to grow,” Graf said.
The two projects would be built without having to increase the tax rate.
“That’s been the philosophy of the board for some time in the last several projects is to keep that level mil levy. We’ve just been very fortunate in that the amount of growth and valuation that the district has we’re able to accomplish that. This time it would be difficult without having an expiring bond issue as well,” Graf said.
Signs of growth can be seen when you drive through the area.
Mayor Derick Wenck says several developers are digging in the ground right now.
“We’re a booming town. A lot of that, we can thank the school district. Southern Sioux Falls and Harrisburg are kind of colliding together,” Harrisburg Mayor Derick Wenck said.
Wenck says a majority of the growth in Harrisburg is younger families with kids.
“We all know what’s going to happen. We need more schools,” Wenck said.
Voters in the Harrisburg School District can vote early by mail or in-person before election day on June 1st.
Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. that Tuesday.
For all the voting information you need to know, click here.