Harrisburg will be watching Tea Area’s tiff with Sioux Falls residents

Jim Holbeck, superintendent for the Harrisburg School District, said he’s “very interested” in how the tension between Tea Area Schools and homeowners in southwest Sioux Falls plays out.

As I wrote earlier this month, Tea Area plans to build an elementary school near the Family Wellness Center. At the same time, a group of nearby homeowners is trying to secede and latch onto the Sioux Falls School District.

Sioux Falls approved the residents’ request for a so-called “minor boundary change,” but Tea Area said no.

The Harrisburg district now is planning its fifth school inside the city of Sioux Falls, so Holbeck knows as well as any school official what it’s like to cross city lines.

Unlike Tea Area, Holbeck said he’s never been asked to approve a minor boundary change from residents at the edge of his school district. But a developer once threatened to petition into Sioux Falls if Harrisburg failed to build an elementary school in his neighborhood, Holbeck said.

"I said just that statement alone will make me win in court," he said.

And that was the end of that.