$17M Brandon Valley bond vote Tuesday for new elementary school

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BRANDON, S.D. (KSFY) - Voters will head to the polls next Tuesday to weigh in on the Brandon Valley School District's $17 million bond issue for a brand new elementary school.

Courtesy of Brandon Valley School District

The new school will not only mitigate the fast-growing population of students but also will not impact taxpayers.

The Brandon Valley School District is close to hitting its maximum enrollment at Fred Assam Elementary. That's when the school district knew it needed to open another elementary school.

The Brandon Valley School District is feeling some growing pains. With new land being developed more students need a place to attend school.

"It got to the point where it was over 85 percent full and we knew that we were going to need to be doing something to accommodate for our growing student enrollment," Brandon Valley Superintendent, Dr. Jarod Larson said.

A special bond election next Tuesday could expand the school district and set the tone for growth heading towards Brandon Valley's vision for 2040. That bond is for $17 million but won't affect city taxpayers.

"The Brandon Valley School District is extremely cognizant of taxpayer dollars and we want to be great stewards of taxpayer dollars," Dr. Larson said.

He said this new facility will come at no extra cost because another bond issue will be paid off before construction of the new school.

"It will not be an increase in the current tax levy because approximately 40 cents per thousand will come off the levy with Robert Bennis Elementary coming off in July 2020 and then about 38 cents would go onto the levy with the addition of Sparta Elementary," Dr. Larson said.

The district times their bond issues so that when one comes off they can put another one on opposed to adding additional tax burden.

Although he's heard positive feedback about building a new school there are some who are hesitant.

"They feel like it’s on the edges of our school district or it’s a long way away from Brandon but the truth is the Brandon Valley School District is a large school district," Dr. Larson said.

If the bond vote passes, construction could begin as soon as the spring of 2020. The new school would open in the fall of 2021.

The Brandon Valley School District will get the final decision that same Tuesday night. They’ll then have a special board meeting to certify the election the day after on Wednesday.

Polling Sites:

Precinct #1: Valley Springs (Valley Springs Elementary Music Room): City of Valley Springs, Valley Springs and Red Rock Townships.

Precinct #2: Brandon (Brandon Valley High School Community Room): City of Brandon, Brandon and Mapleton Townships and those portions of Sverdrup and Edison Townships that lie in the Brandon Valley School District.

Precinct #3: Splitrock Township (Fred Assam Elementary Gymnasium): Splitrock Township and that portion of Sioux Falls Township that lies in the Brandon Valley School District.