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Old 02-25-2009, 03:03 PM
 
3 posts, read 15,740 times
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Hi. A job opening was announced in Rapid City. If I were to get it, it would be a promotion. I live in Northern California and have a wife and three kids, ages 8, 5, and 2. Our current school district is nearly bankrupt, our house is worth 40% of what we paid, and we're pretty sick of the State and we're interested in relocating. I do not, however, want to end up in a miserable location.
I was wondering if people on this site could provide some thoughts on relocating to Rapid City. There seems to be differing thoughts on the weather. Does it get below 30 degrees often? How humid is it in the Summer? How often does it snow?
What is the best elementary school, based on test performances (and where can I find this data)? How much do houses cost near this school?
How far are good ski resorts?
If you had the choice of living near Sacramento, CA or Rapid City, which would you choose and why?
I'm really looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Thank you.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Rapid City, SD
30 posts, read 81,705 times
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hello, I’m only 20 and planning on moving out of the city soon but I can give a little insight on some of what you want to know.
Rapid City, South Dakota - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia always a good site for statistics
weather. winters are pretty....erratic. it feels like most days are 30 and below, we get a few below zero nights, the worst this year had gotten to about negative 15. you will have to get used to the idea of plugging your car in or you'll wake to a miserably cold day and a frozen battery. there are the random occasions of highs just below 60. we get very little rain and maybe 15 snow days, average snowfall will be about 2 inches in a night. this is just a personal view not statistics. spring is pretty predictable with temperatures ranging from 40 to 60, a few good thunderstorms and light showers. i don't think I’ve gone a year without seen that one last completely out of season snowfall though. summer is typically between 60's to 90's with a few hot days of 100 or so. after spring things dry out an awful lot and the greens turn to crunchy brown unless you like to spend the money for watering. then fall is very short and can be anywhere from 60's to 20's

schools, Wilson Elementary School (Pages - default) grades k-5, is a very nice and safe school, it's where i went. it's also in one of the best neighborhoods in rapid city where rarely will you see a seedy character walking down the sidewalk rather than a family hand in hand or a youth walking a dog. and a littler farther in the future West Middle school (Pages - default) has a very good reputation and I’d advise these two schools above all.

the west boulevard area is where Wilson is located, in my opinion the nicest area in rapid if that's the type of life style you wish, typical one or two floor homes with a front and back yard, either fenced, hedges, or open. street parking in front or a front or back garage. facing the street with an alley behind and neighbors with manicured lawns on either side. one way streets with large grassy medians and aged trees, all of it just makes the whole area very comfortable, average home price is around 300,000 if you wish to buy. as far as the other areas go, stay away from the north side and Star Village! you'll hear our city split into three major sections, the west side which holds the better of the schools, golf courses, parks, and the nicer neighborhoods, the main streets and Jackson Boulevard, West Boulevard, and Main street. the south side is a middle class, Mt. Rushmore Rd splits the west and south side. and then the north side which unfortunately can usually be classified as low class with higher crime rates and more chance to see a drunk stumbling down the road rather than a jogger. Omaha St. separates the north from west and south.
Unfortunately for your kids, they will deal with a little side segregation from their peers. Economic status is instilled in most of our kids producing the usual popularity contests through family wealth.
If you go to Google Maps and look up Rapid City, you can trace out the areas by the main roads.

the two common ski resorts are Deer Mountain and Terry Peak both about 50 miles out of town, an hour drive through the mountains. that's all i know about those

overall, Rapid City is a small country city with friendlier more laid back people. mostly conservative and the arts suffer here where as sports flourish. theft and harassment has never been a problem for me, but i've very little to steal and am not under the category of easily pushed around. from my experiences from growing up here and being a wanderer, it's a very safe place. but just like anywhere else, the same "anything can happen" theory applies and we have rape and missing kids just like anywhere else. jobs are hard to come by and it's more of a child and retirement city, youth my age are very stretched when it comes to finding your place and entertainment. the downtown area is a very nice place to admire the historic buildings and interesting shops and restaurants during the day and more of a less than appealing bar scene at night. canyon lake park is our major park with a duck pond and play grounds, the bike paths that run through it lead to other parks throughout the city. really, depending on your income is what determines how well you'll like this city. it's not high class, but it's nothing like the bad side of town in larger cities.

i hope any of this was of help to you and if you decide to move i hope rapid city is the right fit for you family, best of luck hun!
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:11 PM
 
2,398 posts, read 3,594,125 times
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demichae, I'll try to help you a bit. I live in Sioux Falls, which is on the opposite side of the state from Rapid City. However, I've been to Rapid quite a bit. Danny, Busy, and Ashnat are all members of this forum who live out there, and will have better advice than mine.
I've heard California is going through bad times.
The recession hasn't hit SD as hard as it has in other parts of the country, but we are starting to slowly feel it.
For weather, I'm not sure... the weather in Rapid and the Black Hills are very different from Sioux Falls'.
South Dakota, in general, have great schools... in my opinion . I tried searching for test scores and came up empty handed. The other forum members might be able to help with that too.
I've never been to Sacramento, or California. I'd love to someday.

It will be a big change for you. Sacramento's population is over 400,000... while Rapid is about 65,000.

Best places to live 2008 - City details: Rapid City, SD - from MONEY Magazine

This is one of Rapid City's accolades.

I know it is a life changing decision, but Rapid City and the area is a desirable region. The other forum members will have additional and more useful information for you!
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:29 PM
 
Location: S.Dak
17,972 posts, read 5,940,326 times
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School District Profiles.............
Profiles include the following: revenues, expenditures, state aid revenue, taxable valuations, levies, instructional staff information, test score data, information listed in the profile summaries, and more general district information.

2007-2008 State Wide Profiles (http://doe.sd.gov/ofm/statdigest/08digest/2007-2008StateWideProfiles.asp - broken link)
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 9,779,325 times
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Demichae, it's great to hear that you're interested in Rapid City! And it's too bad to hear that things are going sour out in CA. I'll give a little bit of my perspective of the area.

The weather in Rapid City can be best described as dry with high altitude (we're at about 3,500 feet). Humidity is always low here so it makes the temperatures feel a lot more comfortable. Summers are long and hot and winters are long and cold. We get a lot of sunshine and erratic temperature changes so if snow falls it melt very quickly. Some winter days in Rapid City it can be 65 and sunny, and the next day it's -5 and there's a snowstorm. Summer days are usually about 80-95 degrees and thunderstorms come in at night.

I really can't say too much about public schools in Rapid City because I went to Catholic school, but this issue kind of varies by who you talk to. Some members believe Rapid City has great schools and others don't. NCLB has a lot to do with struggling schools nowadays. I'm sure being from CA you understand this. I'd say the best schools in Rapid City are on the Westside.
No Child Left Behind Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Black Hills have two ski resorts -Terry Peak and Deer Mountain- both are pretty good spots and they're about a 45 minute drive from Rapid City. They're both just outside of Deadwood too which is a popular town for gambling resorts and nightlife.

If you are looking for homes in Rapid City look at the Southside, the Westside, and Rapid Valley. The Northside is sketchy so you'll probably want to stay away from it. Coming from CA you'll be surprised to see how much home your money gets you out here!

I don't really know too much about Sacramento but I have family in Citrus Heights and we've visited them a couple times. I always thought it was a pretty nice city and it's definitely larger than Rapid City. From what I understand, it's somewhat of a haven from the more expensive CA cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, and especially San Francisco. The only concern I have is size. Would you be comfortable living in a city of 400,000 or 80,000? I guess they both have their pros and cons. But to be honest, CA is going down the tubes. Get out while you can!!!
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:53 AM
 
Location: The best little city in the country
267 posts, read 552,868 times
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First of all, for me it would depend on if the job opening was a stable one, with a solid company. Other than that, I can offer my opinion of Rapid.
I moved here from Phoenix exactly a year ago - and I love it here. For me, this is a better place to raise a family. People are friendlier, the schools are better, the atmosphere is calmer, and there is more of a laid back attitude in general.

If you're looking at houses in the West/South/Southwest side, you'll be looking probably between $180K and $300K. There is plenty available cheaper than that, but they will be older homes - just depends on what you're looking for. You can look at www.bhmls.com (Black Hills Multiple Listing Service) for an idea of home prices for what you're needs are. The Southwest, West Blvd, and Sheridan Lake Road "areas" are ones I can think of offhand. You can also check the Piedmont Valley listings, there are a lot of new homes going up out there, which are priced slightly less, most of them are less than 20 minutes outside of Rapid.

I agree that the schools on the West side of town - that feed up into Stevens High School, seem to be rately overall better than the ones that feed up into Central. We only have 2 highschools in town. My 10 year old goes to South Canyon elementary, and I really like that school. www.greatschools.net is a good comparison of schools, that gives overall statistics, and the rapid city school district website is www.rcas.org.

As for the weather, yes it snows and gets cold, but if I can get used to it in less than a year, after spending 20 years in the desert, anyone can!! We've only had maybe 3 "big" snowstorms this year (big by my standards) - I think the kids have only had 2 snowdays, and they were both for the same big storm in November.

In the summer, the weather was perfect. There is not a lot of humidity, and there is almost always a breeze of some sort blowing, so it never seemed too hot for me. There are plenty of parks spread around through town, and if you do end up on the southwest side of town, there are some really nice bike paths that wind around through town, under the roads, and around the parks that are fun for family exploration and outings.

I never spent a lot of time in Sacramento, and I believe it's a little bit better in the Northern part of California, than in the Southern part, but I would still choose Rapid in an instant. The cost of living compared to wages is lower here (provided you are working a professional job - that could be very different for people who are in entry level, or retail type postions). There is NO traffic here when compared to any type of big city. The hospital is close to every part of town, and I have never had to spend more than 2 hours in the ER for any middle of the night sick kid episodes - which would have been unheard of in Phx (would have been more like 8 hours, and the ER's in Phx are full of REALLY creepy people)

If you have been a "city" person your whole life, it will take you a while to adjust. This is the 2nd largest city in the state, and it's the size of a small Phx suburb. We have about 75K people I think in the Rapid City "metro" area, so think smaller than Citrus Heights in CA, and with no other cities or towns anywhere nearby. But, Denver is less than a day's drive away, and Sioux Falls is about the same distance the other direction. The rapid city airport has a little regional airline, that offers direct flights out to Phx and LA twice a week, and major airlines that make regular trips to Denver, and Minneapolis for connecting flights.

The air here is clean, the drug/gang problem here is minimal, crime statistics here are very good, and the scenery can't be beat! Okay, I think I've listed enough reasons for why I like living here, Danny and MJ already gave lots of other great pieces of information.
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Old 02-26-2009, 01:54 AM
 
Location: Marana AZ
29 posts, read 57,212 times
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You will probably like Rapid City, but: No beer sales on Sunday, or just in any store. Many people don't know what an avocado is, no fresh ones on the side of the road. No In & Out Burger. No Volvo dealer. Nobody to speak Spanish too. They call Taco Jon's Mexican food. A lot of the houses have basements. You'll need an ice scrapper, an a snow shovel. Southern Comfort is people antifreeze. Through out the state, you have the Norwegian factor. Leftse is the best part, and should get better. Ya
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:32 AM
 
2 posts, read 20,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belami28 View Post
You will probably like Rapid City, but: No beer sales on Sunday, or just in any store. Many people don't know what an avocado is, no fresh ones on the side of the road. No In & Out Burger. No Volvo dealer. Nobody to speak Spanish too. They call Taco Jon's Mexican food. A lot of the houses have basements. You'll need an ice scrapper, an a snow shovel. Southern Comfort is people antifreeze. Through out the state, you have the Norwegian factor. Leftse is the best part, and should get better. Ya
I'd be moving from CA. Does this mean no Farmers Markets in the summer? Really, no good Mexican Resturaunts? Anyone know if it's possible to rent a 5 bedroom house on the Westside and what that would go for? And where would one go to find rental listings.
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Old 02-26-2009, 09:43 AM
 
464 posts, read 890,207 times
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mexican food here stinks in the restaurants. You can settle for Taco Johns altho it's just not the same. Taco Bell is CHEAP mans taco's. If you want the runs, go eat at a Mexican restaurant in RC.
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 9,779,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lbell View Post
I'd be moving from CA. Does this mean no Farmers Markets in the summer? Really, no good Mexican Resturaunts? Anyone know if it's possible to rent a 5 bedroom house on the Westside and what that would go for? And where would one go to find rental listings.
Rapid City has great Farmer's Markets. They set up in Founders Park every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. They're always really busy too so trying to find parking can be a hassle. There are a lot of local farmers and ranchers that come into Rapid City. My favorite vendor is Z's Touch Jams. She makes the best chokecherry jam!!!

Mexican here isn't the best. La Costa and Casa Real are probably the most authentic as they are run by Mexican families. The enchiladas at Kaktus Kim's aren't too bad either. I usually just stick with some quick Qdoba.

To find a rental of that calibur try to get ahold of some property management companies in Rapid City.

property management in Rapid City - YELLOWPAGES.COM
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