Long-awaited Corsica-Stickney school additions to be unveiled this fall
The additions are being made in both communities, costing $10.5 million in total. They will feature nine new classrooms, a weight room, an auxiliary gym, among other additions.
STICKNEY, S.D. — For the first time in the 92-year history of the Stickney school campus, the facility is scheduled to get new classrooms, helping turn a new leaf for improvements in the Corsica-Stickney School District.
The district is building $10.5 million in new classrooms and other facilities at the elementary school in Stickney as well as the high school in Corsica, slated for completion in May and to be ready for use in the fall. A second phase of construction will happen this summer as well, when the district's old elementary school will be demolished and a new building will be built on the same site.
Each school building was budgeted to receive just over $5 million of improvements, according to Scott Muckey, the superintendent of the Corsica-Stickney school district.
"We, the school board, the principal, and other administration, knew we wanted to do something because of the age of the buildings as they stand," Muckey told the Mitchell Republic.
The Stickney school was built in 1931 and the classrooms in Corsica high school have been in use since 1981.
All told, there will be nine new classrooms, three at the Corsica high school, six at the Stickney elementary. In addition to the classrooms, Corsica is also getting an auxiliary gym, its first strength-training center, and a new concession area.
Stickney will receive a new commons area and restrooms, in addition to its new classrooms.
An auction is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23 in Stickney to sell surplus property from the old school building, along with selling lots owned in Harrison, the small unincorporated Douglas County community which previously housed the town's school building. Among the items being sold from the Stickney school include radiator-style heat units, old-style classroom clocks, wooden lockers, old Stickney football coats and band uniforms, window air conditioners, a popcorn popper, stage curtains, old wooden and metal typing chairs and science lab tables.
"There are a lot of moving parts," Muckey said. "You need to work with the bid contractors, draft and redraft, work with your community. This has been a long time coming."
The plan was chosen for improvements to both towns after taking into consideration a majority opinion held by citizens during a public hearing in 2018, said Muckey. A feasibility study conducted by the school district in 2018 returned three different options, with two of them seeing additions to the Corsica school alone, which would call for the closing of the Stickney school. But a clear majority of the public input favored keeping a school in both towns, leading to the construction plan. The projects were funded through existing capital outlay tax collections, meaning the district did not use an opt-out or raise taxes for the new facilities.
The towns are 10 miles apart and have maintained schools in both communities since the previous districts consolidated in 2016. For its fall 2022 enrollment, Corsica-Stickney had 140 students in grades K-6 in Stickney and 106 in grades 7-12 in Corsica, according to the South Dakota Department of Education.
"When you deal with two communities, it's natural that they each want a piece of the new improvements," Muckey said. “You work your way through that.”
To see pictures of the improvements, and for a detailed list of auction items, visit the Corsica-Stickney school website at https://corsica-stickney.k12.sd.us/default.htm