The Yankton School District (YSD) is making its students’ safety a priority.

One way it’s accomplishing this is by hiring its first full-time school resource officer, Officer Preston Crissey of the Yankton Police Department. He will split his time between Yankton Middle School (YMS) and Yankton High School (YHS).

“I’ll be around for anybody that needs to talk to me at any time, even if I’m at home,” he said. “I’m a part of the community.”

Crissey said his wife is originally from Yankton and that they and their two young children relocated to Yankton recently.

“Since I’ve been here as an officer, I see a lot of the bad, but I also see a lot of the good,” he said.

YMS Principal Todd Dvoracek credited YSD Superintendent Wayne Kindle, City Manager Amy Nelson, the Yankton City Commission and the school board for putting the school resource officer position together.

Crissey will introduce himself to the students of both schools next Monday.

Meanwhile, work has been ongoing this summer on YSD facilities, most notably on the Stewart Elementary School windows and the Crane-Youngworth Field turf.

YSD Director of Buildings and Grounds Chuck Turner provided the board with an update on the projects.

“Contractors, sub-contractors, custodians, maintenance, everybody’s rushing frantically to get it completed,” he said.

Contractors are currently working through the punch list developed by TSP following their walk-through. Turner said he doesn’t see any issues going into the first day of school next Monday.

The turf is also nearly installed with a few things in need of completion — most notably, a damaged gate in need of repair with some small holes needing to be cut into the turf where pins will be placed to act as a lock for the gate.

Turner noted that work on the Yankton College Memorial, which will be housed at the stadium, is about to begin by Welfl Construction. The memorial will consist of a four-sided concrete pillar, with one side dedicated to Carl Youngworth, two sides with plaques showing the old Yankton College grandstand, with the fourth side to be dedicated to whatever the Yankton College board of directors decides.

The memorial will be protected by a weather canopy that had previously been installed at Yankton High School.

“It’s mainly there to give us a nice, beautiful memorial space for Yankton College,” Turner said.

Despite the first official game of the season taking place today — a double-header soccer game with Yankton versus Harrisburg — an official open house and dedication ceremony will take place on Saturday, Aug. 24.

Scott Kooistra was present to express his excitement about the nearly-complete project.

“I’ve broadcasted every AA and AAA location in South Dakota, a whole bunch in Nebraska, a few in Iowa and in this tri-state area,” he said. “For a school district, there is none better than that facility right there.”

The event will start at 4 p.m. with tours of the entire Crane-Youngworth facility with members of the school district present to answer questions.

At 5 p.m., the Yankton Chamber of Commerce will do the ribbon-cutting, and a tailgate party will be held up until the start of the game at 7 p.m., which will pit the Yankton Bucks against the Brookings Bobcats.

The official dedication will occur at halftime. Several members of the YSD will speak, as well as Carl Youngworth’s oldest grandchild, Andy Youngworth, who will be there with approximately 35-40 Youngworth family members. The dedication will wrap up with a performance by the YHS marching band.

On Monday, the school board also:

• Adopted the 2018-2019 school district budget;

• Authorized the tax levy request;

• Reviewed the new high school graduation requirements.

Follow @ReillyBiel on Twitter.

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