What to do with L-D Elementary?

Discussions have started once again on the fate of the historic elementary school building in Deadwood. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

LEAD — Following a short discussion at Tuesday’s Lead-Deadwood School Board meeting and a facility tour of the Lead-Deadwood Elementary School in Deadwood recently, the Lead-Deadwood School Board will follow a recommendation from schools superintendent Dr. Dan Leikvold to bring in a consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study on the school district’s facilities and how Lead-Deadwood Elementary School fits into that long-term picture.

Leikvold said that considering Principal Tim Kosters’ desire for a better educational environment for children, and building maintenance supervisor Wayne Karpinen’s desire for better building infrastructure, a long-term discussion regarding the facility needs to start.

“During the facilities tour of the Deadwood building, several issues and concerns regarding the building that is almost 95 years old arose,” Leikvold said. “Although, there isn’t a whole lot of consensus on what should be done. The way I see it, there are four options, and we need a whole lot more data, a whole lot more information, and will seek a lot more community input before moving forward on any of this.”

The four options presented were: one, continue with status quo.

“Looking at the infrastructure of the building in Deadwood, we could expand the classroom footprints, look at the cafeteria, there is $300,000 budgeted for this fiscal year and $400,000 for next in capital outlay, and this would not entail a complete overhaul,” Leikvold said.

Option two would entail committing to a significant overhaul of the building.

“This would entail a significant amount of money,” Leikvold said. “Millions of dollars.”

Option three would be to abandon the building and look for a new spot in Deadwood to build a new building.

Or option four, to enhance the footprint of the Lead campus and move the elementary school to Lead.

Leikvold then suggested the district hire a firm to conduct a study of the two campuses.

“There are companies that do this, that will come in and tell us what we need to do and what we need in terms of efficiencies,” Leikvold said.

“I think that sounds like a really good idea,” said Tera Mau, a school board member.

Leikvold suggested that the district interview a couple of firms and move forward with the selection process and hire from there.  

Enrollment numbers for the 2015-16 school year at Lead-Deadwood Elementary are 344 students.

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