SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The Sioux Falls School District has sold $54 million in bonds to fund the construction of three elementary schools — the largest such sale in the district's history.

The bonds were sold competitively, a process in which the issuer sells its bonds to the bank offering the lowest interest rate. That's a rarity in South Dakota. Cities, counties and school districts in the state typically choose a buyer first and negotiate later when borrowing money.

Board President Doug Morrison tells the Argus Leader ( ) the board opted to sell the bonds competitively to make the process more transparent.

Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. won the bond issue with an interest rate of 4.06 percent. The school district will make $4 million annual payments for the next 20 years.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.