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Plans to replace South Middle School took another step forward as architects presented tentative plans to the Rapid City School Board Tuesday evening.

The replacement is part of the district's five-year capital improvement plan approved earlier in the year.

The school, which now extends east from its gym and community center along E. Indiana St., is slated to be torn down. The new building will run north along Oak Avenue toward Meade St.

Principal Larry Stevens said the new complex would keep the existing building's community center and renovate its gym. The school's parking lot would be expanded to about 300 spots, he said.

The new building would be 127,000 square feet in size and accommodate 1,070 students. Around 800 students currently attend the school, which was originally built in 1959.

MOA Architecture has been contracted to design plans for the new building. Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2016 and will last for 18 months.

The project is budgeted for $22 million, while the firm's initial estimates total $22.8 million.

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Contact Meredith Colias at 394-8417 or meredith.colias@rapidcityjournal.com

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