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March 01, 2012 04:53 PM

Nearby School Against Proposed Walmart Location

Walmart is eyeing an empty lot on the southeast side of Sioux Falls to build the third store in the city. But a private school closest to the proposed site is hoping the retailer reconsiders its plan.

Just across the empty lot from the proposed Walmart store, nearly 1,000 students attend Sioux Falls Christian Schools every day. Children ranging from preschool through high school have been taking classes at the location since 2004.

In that time, Principal Jay Woudstra's seen the area grow. But he says the addition of a Supercenter at the corner of 69th Street and Cliff Avenue would do more harm than good.

"Why would they want to build here? As a school, we're not anti-Walmart. We aren't against Walmart. It just doesn't make sense to put a big store like that in this neighborhood," Woudstra said.

Like many homeowners in the south Sioux Falls neighborhood, the administrator's biggest concern is the possibility of increased traffic around the proposed site.

While congestion is minor during most of the day, Woudstra says it becomes bumper to bumper before and after school.

Another concern is drainage. He says problems already plague the school and the surrounding area.

Every summer after heavy rains, Woudstra says up to one foot of runoff can collect in the parking lot.

"I guess our concern is adding that much more hard surface for a parking lot and roof top, what is that gong to do to the water issues we already have," Woudstra said.

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