New High School and Middle School Planned in Sioux Falls by 2022

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-Sioux Falls is continuing to grow meaning more space will be needed to accommodate everyone. Right now there are 34 schools in Sioux Falls.  In order to plan for this growth the Sioux Falls School District says it has to build new schools.

Sioux Falls schools are at or going over capacity.

“We’ve grown by quite a little bit. We grow by about 200 to 500 students annually and so the trend has been pretty clear, said Dr. Brian Maher, Sioux Falls School District Superintendent.

A task force continues to discuss plans for new facilities.

“todays kindergarten through third graders, we have almost 12 hundred kids in those grades than what our high schools will hold and that’s not factoring in the growth we’ll see in the community,” said Vernon Brown, Facility Task Force Co-chair.

Ideally the district wants 600 kids per elementary school, around 900 in middle school and 14 hundred in high school.

“The community and teachers say that is about the size as big as you want to get or you lose a sense of community in the building it becomes too large,” said Brown.

There’re plans for a new high school on the northwest side of Sioux Falls. Sanford has offered up some of their land, which will be taken into consideration for the new school. A middle school is under consideration for the south east side of the city.Both could be built by 2022. A elementary school could be added by 2024.

They’re also assessing older schools. Whittier Middle School is over 100 years old.  It has about ten years left, then they plan to replace it.

The task force has estimated all of this to cost around 270 million dollars.

It will be paid for through a bond, which would raise citizens property tax by ten to twenty dollars a month.

However, Brown says that’s a worst case scenario.

” When we build new schools, it brings more development, more houses, more industry, more retail and all of that helps keep the property taxes lower,” said Brown.

People will have the opportunity to vote on this bond as soon as September. It will require 60 percent voter approval.

Nothing is finalized yet. The task force still has one more meeting to go over the details. The public is welcome to attend. It’s scheduled for May 30th.

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