RAPID CITY, SD—Rapid City area working families and their children soon may have more options for childcare needs.
The YMCA of Rapid City announced plans today to meet significant childcare service needs in the community by expanding early childhood education through the acquisition of a building conveniently located across the street from its downtown location at 815 Kansas City Street. The YMCA has agreed to purchase the former Black Hills Corporation building at 625 9th Street.
“The Rapid City area has a critical need for quality early childhood education,” YMCA Executive Director Roger Gallimore said. “A recent study demonstrated that 76 percent of children under the age of six have all available parents in the workforce. This is an extraordinary opportunity to provide quality early learning to meet the community’s need. This property is in a perfect location to allow us to serve the needs of working families to provide quality childcare for another 180 young children.”
The YMCA intends to partner with Rapid City Area Schools (RCAS) to share the facility to house RCAS’s administrative offices. RCAS has been assessing space needs and has determined that it would be more cost-effective to relocate its employees and administrative functions from the City/School Administration Center (CSAC) at 300 6th Street to the newly acquired Black Hills Corporation facility. RCAS plans to relocate next summer.
“Being under one roof with the YMCA presents more opportunities for collaboration between our two organizations. It is a positive move for our community and more specifically our students,” RCAS Superintendent Dr. Lori Simon said. “Even more exiting is the fact that this is a financial win for the RCAS. Our district will actually benefit economically and gain space – creating further opportunities for the consolidation of services.”
RCAS administration’s move allows the City of Rapid City to consolidate certain City services and offices in the CSAC. The City has conducted a building utilization study, which indicated more efficient use of current space and more convenient customer access to City services.
"The decision by the school district to relocate will allow the City to consolidate certain off-site offices and services, provide for more public parking in the downtown ramp and allow us to review opportunities for greater and more efficient customer service and use of the City Center," said Mayor Steve Allender.
“I commend the leadership of the YMCA, the school district and the City for creating this exciting collaboration that will have a positive impact on area communities and downtown,” said Dave Emery, Chairman and CEO of Black Hills Corporation. “A strong education system, a vibrant downtown and additional access to quality early childhood education are all critical for a successful Rapid City.”
The company recently relocated to their new headquarters at 7001 Mt. Rushmore Road.
Black Hills Corporation operates as Black Hills Energy in providing natural gas and electric service to 1.2 million customers across eight states, which includes the electric service provided in the region.
The announcements were made at a press conference Tuesday at the YMCA.