Heat. That would be high on the list for what students at the Loneman School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota would like in a new school building.
This week, as temperatures in South Dakota plunged below zero the kindergarten class had to meet in the library because even space heaters couldn’t keep their classroom warm, teacher Sheryl Starr tells Kayla Gahagan of the Rapid City Journal, here.
They’ve got a little while to wait before getting their wish. A $13.6 million Bureau of Indian Affairs grant will pay for a new school, slated to be completed sometime in 2011. And yes, the new building will have central heat that actually works, says principal Deborah Bordeaux.
The current school is 60 years old and includes several portable classrooms.
“We’ve had this building forever, it seems,” says librarian Darlene Bettelyoun. “It will be nice to have something nice and clean and something everybody can be proud of.”