MEADE COUNTY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Students from Enning Elementary School and Union Center Elementary School in the Meade County are now learning alongside one another at the new Central Meade County School.
"I think it's fantastic. It's such a wide-open space. It is just a wonderful facility. I think the kids are going to love it," said Shirrise Linn, a parent and longtime resident.
With a classroom on every corner of the building, nearly 60 students from K-8th grades get to spend their school year here.
"A new clean, nice facility for them to use is just something that's been long overdue out here in this rural area," said Reed Cammack, the parent of kindergartener and third-grader at the new school.
When students were asked what they think the best parts of the new building are they mentioned the lunchroom, bike racks, smart boards, water fillers, lockers, and othe new STEAM lab.
Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) were at the forefront of the year-long project so much that the subjects got their own space.
"The idea of this classroom is to provide students with those problem solving skills and working with one another. Preparing them for jobs or skills that haven't been invented yet with technology," said Luke Erfman, computer and STEAM facilitator.
Although it may take some time for families and students to get used to the merge, Superintendent Jeff Simmons of District 46-1 believes the new school is beneficial for the entire community.
"Bringing the families here and bringing them into one school in a quality building. You know we hope that we can bridge those gaps and help the parents and families and students feel like one larger family," Simmons said.
Parents also agreed the new merge will avoid them having to travel to separate locations if they have more than one child in different grades, especially during winter.
With the new school being adjacent to Central Meade County Community Center, students will not have to go far for extracurricular activities.
"Proximity to the community center so they can use it for sports, basketball, wrestling, volleyball for the girls, things like that. It's really nice they can walk right across the parking lot, utilize that facility and that's also important for the cash flow of the community center out here also," Cammack said.
Overall, everyone said they cannot wait to see the success that comes out of the building.