Voters approve $9 million for new school in De Smet

DE SMET — Voters in De Smet approved a $9 million bond on June 21 for a new Laura Ingalls Wilder Elementary building project.

Out of a possible 1,297 registered voters, 378 yes votes were cast with 125 no votes. 38.7% of voters turned out for the election.

De Smet School Superintendent Abi Van Regenmorter said the project will add an elementary wing to the existing middle / high school building. This will put all grades, Pre K-12, in the same building.

The project will add 10 classrooms, new restrooms, new office area for elementary and a reading area.
The existing elementary building is more than 60 years old, with major plumbing and electrical needs.

“It’s not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compiant,” Van Regenmorter said. “To get it to compliancy would involve adding onto the building for ramps, widening door frames and knocking out support walls.”

To bring the current elementary building up to code would cost $7.4 million, she said.

Van Regenmorter said they hope to be putting bids out by August. The goal is to have the facility ready to use by August 2024.

Van Regenmorter said the school district began working with Co-op Architecture in Sioux Falls in 2019, but put everything on hold when COVID hit.

“I am so proud of the community,” she added. “We had an amazing team of volunteers that really worked hard for the past several months to really inform the voters and community of the project and the need for it.”