School leaders approve major items

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. Sioux Falls School District board members approved a few key items on Monday’s agenda. One of those was an opt-out recommendation presented by the Finance Action Network. Another approved item, the construction of the newest middle school to join the Sioux Falls community, Ben Reifel Middle School. Board members received some pretty good news as contractor crews prepare to build the new institution on the southeast side of town. The eight bids for the construction phase were so good that the costs are about $3.3 million dollars under their estimated budget.

"That's even without putting any inflation dollars in there for it, so we're looking good," said Operational Services Manager Jeff Kreiter.

The 23 acre site on the northwest corner of East 41st Street and Faith Avenue will be about 190,000 square feet and designed for about 1,000 students. The project stems from a plan reuse of McGovern Middle School with Memorial Middle School's auditorium, and classroom additions being added to the modified floor plan.

Contractors will have their hands full dealing with the elements, the deadline, and difficulty of the project itself, but it will get done and that is what school leaders are happiest about.

"We can still come in under budget and still be very responsible with the money that we got approved for," said school board member Carly Reiter.

A ground breaking ceremony will be Monday, July 22nd at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of East 41st Street and Faith Avenue.