Sioux Falls, SD
The Sioux Falls School District has consolidated schools in the past few years, and in doing so, has left a vacant parcel of land. Only a community garden sits on the block of land that was the site of Lincoln Elementary School. The last class was in 1994, and the school was torn down in 2006.
"I think the playground equipment was up here. Monkey bars and all that," Ron Andersen said.
Andersen can still picture himself as the little boy who went to school at Lincoln Elementary. But he is all too aware that class has not been in session for quite some time.
"I think I just got used to it. At first it was really, something was missing. It was empty. There was just something missing in the neighborhood," Andersen said.
Sabrina Doolittle lives down the street and said the only view she has is of dry, brown and dead grass.
"Like an eye sore. It's emptiness. They put a garden there, so it's nice they did that," Doolittle said.
"I figured they could remodel it or something and fix it up and keep it busy. My kids could've went to this school, too, I guess," Andersen said.
Andersen and Doolittle said they would really like to see a park much like Emerson Park, also the former site of a school, in the lot of land.
Andersen says truly replacing his old elementary school would be hard to do. When it comes to the current consolidation talks, he hopes the district has a plan or make what it has work.
"Remodeling them or adding on to the schools. I think that would benefit a lot. We don't need anymore empty lots around here," Andersen said.
The Sioux Falls School District released a statement to KELOLAND News on the consolidation talks. "The district has not explored this possibility since it is in the beginning phases of deciding how to proceed. The possibility still exists that the schools could remain on use or be 'repurposed' for other programs."