Possible Sturgis school land sale opposed by some

Farm Forum

STURGIS (AP) — The Meade County School District plans to negotiate with the city of Sturgis to sell 400 acres of land adjacent to Sturgis Brown High School, despite the opposition of some school board members and students.

City officials want to develop the land into a multipurpose recreational area that would include a new rodeo grounds, a park and a hotel, the Rapid City Journal reported. The South Dakota National Guard also has expressed interest in using some of the land.

The school’s FFA Club wants the school district to keep the land for hands-on livestock production education. The club submitted a resolution to the board asking for a one-year study period. The club has a few allies — two school board members and the superintendent also are urging more study.

“We have heard how the sale of the land would be beneficial to the city of Sturgis, but our responsibility as school board members is to decide what is best for the student body,” said board member Bryce Richter.

Richter and board member Joe Urbaniak voted against the land negotiations at a recent meeting. The two were outvoted by seven board members who favored negotiations.

Mayor Mark Carstensen said a sale is still far from final.

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard told board members that if they choose to sell the land, they need to sell it for the right reasons.

“You don’t want to sell property just to sell it for a quick dollar,” he said.