Third Stimulus Check: Stimulus check funds 2 new RCAS schools
After stimulus checks for individuals and loans for businesses and non-profits, President Joe Biden is looking at giving a little help to schools.
Rapid City School District’s Public Information Manager, Katy Urban, lays out what the money can do.
“We are getting approximately fifty eight to sixty two million dollars. Nothing like that has ever happened before,” says Urban. “It’s a massive amount of money for our district, and so we are going to put it to good use. We certainly have needs that need to be addressed.”
The money doesn’t come without stipulations. twenty-percent of the money must be spent on learning loss, accounting for things like mental health support, classroom environments and health assistance.
The remaining money can be spent elsewhere, and the Rapid City School District wants to use it to fund two new schools.
One will replace Robbinsdale Elementary, and the second will completely rebuild South Middle School. Both schools currently rank toward the bottom of the list in terms of condition and sustainability.
“Both of those buildings are in really bad shape and they need to be rebuilt or closed. The new buildings that will be in there place will have better air quality, they’ll be more suitable for students to learn in and they’ll address all of those 21st century learning needs that our kids have,” says Urban.
Expected in the fall of 2023, South Middle School will be re-built, leaving the gymnasium and demolishing everything else.
In 2024, a new elementary school is expected to open on a lot the district already owns, Parkview.
Grant funds must be spent within a certain amount of time. So, the district is moving quickly.
“We are very fortunate that we are able to use these dollars for these buildings,” Urban says. “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The school must put in an application to the Department of Education, where approval is expected.
Then, begins the building.
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