D Rose 773 Lux

D Rose 773 Lux

A number of residents in the Westwood Valley housing development in Sioux Falls, near where the new elementary would be constructed, have opposed the district's plan. They have argued they live closer to schools in the Sioux Falls School District and shouldn't be financially responsible for schools in the suburb to the south.

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on school bond

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D Rose 773 Lux

Tuesday's vote had a high turnout, with 1,270 votes cast. The September vote lured slightly more than 1,100 voters to the polls.

She said she wishes the school board would have held separate votes for each project.

"We need to utilize what we have now and better use the space," she said. "I think they put them together to try and get more votes."

"There are no winners tonight," said Kristen Daggett, who helped lead a community group called Yes for Tea Area Kids, promoting the three projects. "The kids lost. Honestly, nobody wakes up in the morning and says, 'Boy, I wish I could pay more in taxes,' but I do wake up in the morning every day saying 'What can I do to make my kids' life better?' This was it and, unfortunately, the Tea residents didn't come through for us, and that's pretty disappointing."

second attempt at passing a bond referendum to fund three projects in the Tea Area School District failed by 14 votes Tuesday, a slimmer margin than the first vote held earlier this year.

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"Obviously, the people have sent a message to the school board for a second time that not everybody is as excited to build a school within (Sioux Falls) as they are," said Chad Zortman, a Westwood Valley resident who has led petition drives. "I've said over and over again, they need to concentrate their efforts on building and improving the schools within the city of Tea."

School districts in South Dakota need 60 percent approval from voters to issue bonds for capital projects. Tea Area fell 14 votes short of that mark Tuesday with 748 voting for it and 522 against.

Zortman said Tuesday his group is collecting signatures in hopes of dissolving the Tea Area School District altogether and allowing the Sioux Falls district to absorb it. The group needs signatures from 15 percent of Tea Area voters to begin the process.

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amount of pride in the Tea Area School District," Superintendent Jennifer Lowery said after the votes were tallied. "The board will continue to look at the community and do the best they can and work through a strategic planning process."

14 votes shy in Tea Adidas Basketball Retro

More space is badly needed, district officials said, because enrollment has steadily climbed and buildings are reaching capacity. Several "stick buildings," which don't have running water, are being used to manage growing class sizes.

McKenzie Miller and Janna Remmers, 18 year old friends and seniors at Tea Area High School, were split on the issue Tuesday as they cast votes.

"The arts are a big part of our school," she said.

"I like progress," he said. "I truly believe there is a need for more space."

More than 300 absentee ballots were cast in Tuesday's election, almost three times as many as the election in September. Typically, 10 to 12 people in the Tea district vote absentee, Cleveland said.

Harry Reshetar has lived near Tea for about 40 years and said Tuesday he supports the bond.

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Remmers voted for the bond, saying she knows there's a need for more space, and a performing arts center would be a welcomed addition.

In the last bond referendum election, in 2008, only 570 voted. The last board election brought out 500 voters, said Kathy Cleveland, district business manager.

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D Rose 773 Lux

D Rose 773 Lux

Opposition from border residentsSome have asked the Tea Area School Board to let them attach to the Sioux Falls district, but board members have been adamant about defending their border.

Miller said she supports the construction of a performing arts center but disagreed with building a new school and adding onto the elementary. She said she has concerns about higher taxes if the bond passes.

Elementary, center for performing artsThe $10.5 million bond would have paid for D Rose 773 Lux a new elementary school in the northern part of the district, an addition to the elementary school in Tea, and the start of a performing arts center attached to the high school. The bond would cost the owner of a $200,000 home an extra $272 a year, but that number probably would have fallen each year as property valuation in the district grew.

The district attempted in September to pass an $11 million bond to fund the same three projects, but came up 31 votes short. The board then surveyed the community and reworked the projects to slightly lower the bond in an attempt to get it passed.

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