Tri-Valley school repairs complete for new school year

Three months ago, Tri-Valley was just beginning to clean up the pieces after the first derecho of the season swept through South Dakota.
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 4:06 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The first day of school is always an exciting one for educators and students, and maybe an emotional one for parents as well. At Tri-Valley, the first day of school this year was about as normal as any other year despite what happened to the building last spring.

Three months ago, Tri-Valley was just beginning to clean up the pieces after the first derecho of the season swept through South Dakota. But quick action from the district helped that recovery move along quickly.

MORE: Tri-Valley schools resume classes after storm damage

“A majority of the damage caused last spring, we were able to fix shortly there after. There were a few windows that had to be replaced, broken glass. Probably the biggest project we had was our crow’s nest. The roof wasn’t replaced, but it had to be pounded down to be re-secured. And then we actually had another storm this summer that cost us a couple of more trees. So we had to have a few more trees pulled out.” Superintendent Mike Lodmel said.

That allowed the district to double check everything to make sure they were ready to open the whole school back up to students this year. And most of the summer was steady work they normally need to take care of.

“It was just our typical, routine maintenance things that we do. We check our playgrounds, make sure everything is inspected there. We did have a couple of projects, as far as an HVAC system upgrade, air conditioning in two more gymnasiums.” Lodmel said.

All of that worked allowed the first day of the new school year to go off without a hitch Monday. The district is rapidly growing with the area and had plenty of new faces, including Chris Larson in his new role as high school principal.

“Every school has different things. The same policies, a lot of the policies are the same. But just the way that people interact, the way that the kids and how they come in, where they congregate. All of that is different.” Larson said.

He said he’s been looking forward the new school year, and he’s excited to learn alongside the new students this year about Tri-Valley.

“I’ve had a lot of teachers that are kind of showing me the ropes, the things that I need to know about Tri-Valley’s community and the school, and the administration team.” Larson said.

Lodmel said the district is focused on making sure their new elementary school opens on time next year, as well as continuing to work towards a new high school as well.

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