The Sioux Center City Council is considering a request regarding land for the site of a new high school to meet the needs of a growing student population.
Sioux Center Community Schools Superintendent Pat O’Donnell asked the council Tuesday if the school district may acquire the city-owned land to build a high school building. The property is currently home to the dirt racing track and is just north of the fairgrounds along 13th Avenue NE.
“Our growth is phenomenal, more than predicted. We are full at every site,” O’Donnell said, sharing that the student body is growing at a rate that would add 500 students over the next 10 years.
Matthew Erion, of CMBA Architects, noted that the land is well-located near the athletic fields and other school facilities. This offers a significant cost savings of not having to build new fields near the proposed high school.
O’Donnell noted that the school district is eager to find ways to partner with the city and Dordt College with facilities at the proposed high school that could offer shared use with them.
The council received the school’s request but took no action on it Tuesday.
“As our community grows, so does our student population, and we recognize there is a real need for more school space to best serve students in Sioux Center,” City Manager Scott Wynja said. “We also know that the track is part of Sioux Center and choosing to use this land for a school would mean changes for those that use it.”
Wynja said this request comes at a time when city leaders are discussing the bigger picture for future use of the city-owned property being used by the track and fairgrounds. The location of this property is advantageous, near the middle school/high school, Dordt College, Sioux Center’s major sports facilities, and the All Seasons Center.
“With Sioux Center’s growth, we are working to think in a visionary way about how this land can best serve our citizens now and in the future,” Wynja said.