JOINT CITY COUNCIL
INFORMATION COMMITTEE AND
RAPID CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Council President Malcom Chapman, Karen Gunderson Olson, Sam Kooiker, Lloyd
Lacroix and Tom Johnson.
Mayor Alan Hanks, Library Director Greta Chapman, Energy Manager Gunar
Dzintars and Administrative Secretary Nadine Bauer.
(NOTE: For the sake of continuity, the following minutes are not necessarily in
chronological order. All referenced documents are on file with the Master
Council President Malcom Chapman opened the Information Committee Meeting
at 12:34 p.m. in the new library at General Beadle Elementary School, 10 Van
Buren Street, Rapid City, South Dakota.
School Board President Sheryl Kirkeby opened the Rapid City Board of Education
Meeting in the new library at General Beadle Elementary School, 10 Van Buren
Street, Rapid City, South Dakota.
SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
President Sheryl Kirkeby, Wes Storm, Arnie Laubach, Leah Lutheran, Doug
Kinniburgh, Dahne Richards-Cook and Eric Abrahamson.
APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA:
Laubach moved and Storm seconded to approve the establishment of the agenda
as presented. Motion carried. (7-0)
TOPIC: PRESENTATION AND TOUR OF THE NEW GENERAL BEADLE
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BUILDING
Superintendent Dr. Peter Wharton welcomed everyone for attending today. He
stated that even though the building is not quite completed, the School District is
very proud of the facility. He added that the purpose of the joint City Council
Information Meeting and the Rapid City Board of Education is to explain the
community school philosophy and the plan for a satellite library that would
maximize resources for not only the students that are served at General Beadle
School but people of all ages in the North Rapid Neighborhood Area.
Council Information Meeting
August 22, 2007
Page 2 of 4
Dr. Wharton provided a handout and a brief explanation of Lifeways, Inc. He
explained that this program is a cooperative endeavor between the City of Rapid
City, the Rapid City School District, and the State of South Dakota Department of
Dr. Wharton stated that it has been an absolute pleasure to work with Jim Scull,
Scull Construction. He added that this facility would not have been possible
without Scull’s leadership and commitment.
Scull thanked Wharton and concurred that he and his staff have enjoyed working
on this project. He added that the energy, enthusiasm and teamwork on this
project has been incredible and that things have gone so smoothly that they are
actually several months ahead of schedule. He advised that he has worked on a
number of schools in the region and in terms of maintenance free, quality of
construction, practicality and functionality; this is a wonderful structure for the
Dr. Wharton then introduced the architect, Ken Wictor. Wictor advised that he
was a part of the design team and presented a brief overview of the facility.
Wictor explained that a community school has clinics, classrooms, commons and
a library. He added that to construct a school or public facility is a huge
investment of money and it is important to get as many hours of use out of a
facility as possible without duplicating services, so his team designed the facility
to work during and outside of normal school hours.
Wictor discussed the building design. He stated that at first some people
thought that the design was old fashioned with all of the rectangles. He
explained that there is not anything that you cannot do in a circle, triangle or
hexagon that you cannot do as well in a rectangle and it costs a lot less money.
He added that the design team has created some exciting spaces in rectangles.
Wictor stated that the current building site was restrictive and the community
school was designed and built to fit this site. He added that another aspect that
made this a difficult site was that they had to phase the construction. Wictor
explained that first phase of construction included the classrooms, library and
clinic which also allowed present operations to continue in the old school. The
last phase of construction will be to tear down the old school and build the public
meeting room, commons area and finally a full size gym and additional agency
space. Wictor further discussed material selection, zoned areas, maintenance
and energy efficiency.
Council Information Meeting
August 22, 2007
Page 3 of 4
In response to a request by Dr. Wharton, Wictor reviewed the layout of the new
library. He explained that the library will by 68’ x 100’ and is a nice, clean, open
space that will have a computer classroom, circulation desk, an area for lower
elementary age children, an area for upper elementary age children, a public
area, a story hour space that will have glass from the floor to ceiling for security
purposes and a television studio where children can learn how to generate their
In response to a question by Kooiker, Library Director Greta Chapman advised
that the library would be open after school, on weekends, and during the
summer for the entire community.
General Beadle Elementary School Principal Robin Gillespie presented a slide
presentation on the philosophy of a community school. She stated the purpose
of a community school is to preserve the lives of children. She explained that
children are a community’s most important resource and that every child in Rapid
City has a right to educational success. She explained that in order to achieve
this educational success, the community needs to insure that all of a child’s basic
needs are met before they enter school. She added that through teamwork all
things are possible and that together we can level the playing field for children
with a full service community school.
Gillespie explained that low test scores had placed General Beadle School on the
state’s school-improvement list for the past six years. She is very happy to
report that the students scored well enough last spring to meet the state’s
achievement goals for the first time in six years. Gillespie emphasized that a full-
service community school meets not only the academic needs of students but it
helps families deal with social and economic issues that may hinder children from
learning. Gillespie added that the satellite library would offer easy access to
library services for almost 4,000 children living in the North Rapid Neighborhood
In conclusion, Gillespie thanked everyone who has been involved in the project
and in particular her head custodian, Tim Nighbert for all of his help. She then
introduced Mark Kenefick to give a presentation on the construction phases.
General Beadle Elementary School Dean of Students, Mark Kenefick, reviewed
the construction phases for this 12.5 million dollar facility. Kenefick advised that
a community school is a national movement that puts all of the pieces together.
He explained that there are two parts to a community school the academic part
and the community part. He showed on the building diagrams that the academic
part will provide cross grade level instruction. He added that since this a large
building the idea for the academic part was to have little schools within a big
Council Information Meeting
August 22, 2007
Page 4 of 4
school. In the community part, the idea was to have a full clinic with medical
and dental exams and a training room which will hold up to 60 people. The
community part would also provide support services from various agencies such
as Black Hills Community Health, Discovery After School Program, Behavior
Management, USD School of Nursing, Juvenile Diversion Program, Rapid City
Public Library Satellite, Department of Social Services (Economic Assistance and
Child Welfare) and other agencies and support organizations.
Kenefick explained that the plan is to move into the completed section this
November and then Scull Construction will take over the other half of the
property and demolish the old school. The final phase will be the construction of
a public meeting room, commons area, a full size gym and additional agency
space. The final construction phase is projected to be completed in August
Kenefick advised that an important component of the full service community
school is to expand library service in the North Rapid Neighborhood Area. He
advised that transportation is an issue for many North Rapid residents and to
have a library within the community would provide better service and pool
In response to a question from an audience member, Library Director Greta
Chapman advised that the City of Rapid City would provide $114,000 to operate
a satellite library services at General Beadle School. She explained that this
would cover staffing, facilities maintenance, and additions to the collection. She
added that the school district would contribute $258,000 in this joint venture.
School Board Member and Chairman of the State Library Board, Dr. Eric
Abrahamson explained that if we want our communities to be competitive
economically, we have to create 24 hour learning communities within our cities.
He stated that by integrating libraries and school we are emphasizing that
learning is a constant ongoing process not only for kids but for adults too and
that they can do it in the same space and together. He added that this is an
important project statewide and the board is watching what happens in Rapid
City as this library will be a model for other communities.
As there was no further information to bring before the committee, the meeting
adjourned at 1:23 p.m. so that Larry Hermanson could provide a tour of the
upper level pod. The next meeting will be Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at