To the Editor:

Vermillion has discovered that it has a problem that many towns and cities in South Dakota are encountering – it’s growing. And while that is a good problem to have, bringing with it new businesses and more housing, it’s also causing growth in the Vermillion schools. All four of the schools have seen growth over the years, however, the two elementary schools – Austin and Jolley – are affected most by the growth. Vermillion’s growth is not projected to slow down anytime soon.

Both elementary schools are over 65 years old. The buildings are crammed to capacity with students. The shared spaces, such as the gyms, libraries, and classrooms are overflowing and there is limited space at the current sites for additions. The cost of the continued maintenance on the old buildings is not financially responsible for ongoing repairs. The list of items that need to be replaced and/or fixed grows continually year to year from old light fixtures to plumbing problems to leaking roofs. For this reason, building a new elementary school not only makes sense, but it is the best for the future of Vermillion.

The new school would not only offer more space, but also technology opportunities to be upgraded. Our students learn best when the current technology is available to them. Our current elementary schools are not fit to teach the skills that students need for the future. We as a district must keep up with changing technology. A new school can offer that and help our children be successful for the future.

I am the proud parent of two Jolley Elementary students who have always attended Vermillion Schools. I see how hard teachers work and how much they want their students to succeed. On October 5, please vote yes for the future of the Vermillion School District. Our teachers and students are counting on each and every one of Vermillion’s residents to come out and vote. We owe it to them to give them the best. Please vote yes for the future of Vermillion.

Lisha Edelen



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