Faulkton Area School District Benefits from New and Remodeled Schools
19 Aug 2021
Against all odds presented by the pandemic, Faulkton Area School District 24-4 saw the completion of its new middle school/high school construction and its elementary school remodel just in time to welcome students in September 2020. As the 2021-2022 school year approaches, they are settled in and more focused on academic excellence than ever.
“We have been in the new buildings for one year now and things have gone very well,” said Scott Lepke, FASD 24-4 Superintendent/Elementary Principal. “I think the most exciting features would be the air conditioning and the commons areas that were put in. We also installed carpet in most of the areas. This has made things feel more comfortable and has helped with the acoustics.”
“We are going to try to start the new school year as normal as we can for as long as we can,” said Lepke. “Being in a new school has made it easier for the students and staff to adapt to some of our mitigation efforts when dealing with the pandemic. We also installed air purification ionizers throughout the buildings that filter the air and remove viruses.”
Faulkton is a supportive community and it shows in its educational system and schools. Faulkton Area School District 24-4 has one of the highest concentrations of top ranked public schools in South Dakota. Faulkton Elementary is a “Blue Ribbon Public School of Excellence” because of recognition by the Department of Education for achieving superior standards of academic excellence in math and reading proficiencies. Faulkton Elementary placed in the top 10 percent of all schools in South Dakota for overall test scores. Faulkton High School ranks in the top 30 percent of schools in South Dakota in overall test ranking.
The construction projects were possible because of the passing of a $9 million bond issue. “I was amazed at how the Faulkton community supported the school bond issue,” said Lepke. “Sixty-seven percent of the community voted in favor of the building project. This is a huge margin of support. South Dakota requires at least 60 percent in order to pass their bond issues. The community has been awesome and the help we received during this project was greatly appreciated. Community members stepped up to provide their support and assistance in so many ways.”
FASD 24-4 was due for facilities commensurate with the high-quality education happening within them. The old high school building was constructed in the 1930s, and the elementary school was built in the 1960s. The high school was a three-story, non-ADA compliant building without an elevator or air conditioning. The elementary school was also not handicap accessible and showing signs of wear and tear.
“Faulkton has a strong tradition of excellence and pride in the community,” said Lepke. “Faulkton recently built a new hospital and a new jail to serve the community, and it was time for a new school to be built as well.”
The new 29,750 square foot Faulkton Middle School/High School construction features new music/band, science, special education (SPED), and Family and Consumer Science (FACS) classrooms, along with a middle school/high school commons, library, kitchen, administration offices, and a central commons.
“The elementary school remodel included many updates that were needed very badly,” said Lepke. “The elementary school was gutted from the ceiling to the floor and from wall-to-wall. New plumbing and electrical was installed and all of the network cabling was also replaced. A new restroom was also part of the project. It was a complete remodel: new windows,
sheetrock, lights, ceilings, carpet, cabinets and storage, and air conditioning.”
“Having a school system that has a rich tradition in excellence has many benefits for the community,” said Lepke. “A good school system attracts families and also encourages businesses to locate in the community. This all contributes to the local economy.” Find more information about Faulkton Area School District 24-4 and view their calendar at https://www.faulkton.k12.sd.us/
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