Harrisburg business community members talk growth

Local News

HARRISBURG, S.D. (KELO) — More building projects are coming to the Harrisburg area.

Voters in the Harrisburg School District approved a $60 million bond for a new middle school and a new freshman academy, which will eventually expand to become a new high school.

Average growth in the Harrisburg School District is about 300 new students each year, according to the district, and it’s not expected to slow down anytime soon.

The bond will not increase the tax levy for the district.

977 ballots were cast, and about 83 percent said ‘yes’ to the plan.

Betsy Schwenk supports the new school buildings that voters approved Tuesday. On top of making more room for students, she says the project will be a boost to the community.

“The more we can accommodate students, the more families will be in our community and participating, whether that’s in school-related functions, or purchasing gas, or stopping here to get a coffee,” Lava’s Coffee & Cafe barista Betsy Schwenk said.

Schwenk is a barista at Lava’s Coffee and Cafe in Harrisburg.

She’s lived in the town for about nine years, and it’s grown a lot over time.

“I lived on the edge of a field; now there’s apartment complexes next to me. We didn’t have a grocery store; we didn’t have a hardware store. We didn’t have things, so we had to go to Sioux Falls to get them,” Schwenk said.

Growth in Harrisburg is what prompted the owner of Serenity Nail Spa to open her new business in the community about two months ago.

“I recognize its great potential. It’s growing, and the folks here are very nice and very supporting their local businesses and just great people,” Serenity Nail Spa owner Fawn Dang said.

While Schwenk says Harrisburg is growing constantly, she says it still has a small town feel.

“I feel, especially working in a coffee shop like this, we still see the same people. We’re seeing a lot of new people, but hopefully they’ll become familiar faces as well,” Schwenk said.

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