Education has a new look in Mobridge
Beginning as a discussion about the needs of the future, members of the Board of Education for the then Mobridge School District decided a new high school building was needed.
The discussion blossomed into a plan of action, education and finally a vote of the people. On Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007, voters in Mobridge passed a $7.9 million bond issue to build a new high school.
With 1,217 voters casting ballots, 64.9 percent voted to support the bond with 790 voters in favor, and 425 or 36.1 percent voting against the 3-year bond.
That is where the expansion began. In 2013, work is near complete on the career and technical education (CTE) building on the school campus, completing one more phase of the building for the future plan of the present Mobridge-Pollock District.
Because of a perfect storm of rising costs and delays, the project had to be done in phases and be funded from a number of different sources. School administrators worked with a grant writer to find funding for Phase II and Phase III, which included the connecting link between the new high school and the middle school, and remodeling the fine arts and career education departments.
Federal grants were secured for Phase II, but delays in the release of that $4.5 million in funding from Washington, D.C. again put the board in a tough spot. After months of delays, in May 2010 the funding was announced, putting Phase II construction in motion. Construction deadlines, which were a stipulation of the grant, loomed large as the late start put pressure on crews to reach those deadlines.
The board would not be deterred from their plan to complete the projects, move Beadle School students to a remodeled middle school and create a CTE building for the evolving needs of students.
New avenues of funding were explored and administrators found a program, QZAB that would allow the completion of work on the campus. Once again a huge commitment from the community allowed the district to secure the funding through a federal program. With an agreement for joint education efforts from the business community, the funding was secured and the plans to remodel the bus barn and some middle school classrooms to accommodate the CTE curriculum continued.
Opening the CTE building for classes, completion of the middle school remodel, and the continued updates of the floors and lighting in the
middle school will bring the construction near a close.
Since 2007 there have been 19 actual classrooms added to the complex. All middle school classroom infrastructure (lights, flooring) have be updated, which adds up to more than 140,000 square feet of new and updated space.
The new CTE building (former bus barn) was a project in which the five building and trades classes participated in every phase of the remodel. They helped the with installing the heating coils for the floor, installing the electrical systems and computer lines, framing, hanging drywall and even did the brick work on the outside of the building.
“Normally this is the type of work they would be doing,” said architecture-construction instructor Paul Goehring. “I am absolutely pleased with the work they have done.”
The classes are now building cabinets that will be installed in the computer and wood- working rooms in the CTE building. Floors need to be finished and lights and countertops installed to get the building ready for classes.
Goehring said classes should be held in the building within two weeks. The building will house the wood- working and metal fabrication classes. The metal fabrication room can be used for a small engines class in the future.
Rooms in the middle school that have been used for the building trades classes will now be renovated for the hospitality and tourism classes.
On the west side of the middle school, the new handicapped accessible ramp and the new stairway have been completed. The renovation of the theater continues with a new electrical and lighting system to be installed, followed by the new seating.
When this phase of construction is complete, Superintendent Tim Frederick said there will be an open house for the public to tour the finished campus.