George McGovern may be the newest and the latest the Sioux Falls School District has to offer, but it is missing an old standard: sidewalks. The new school is on Maple Street near Marion Road. With no sidewalks nearby, educators at George McGovern are taking steps to stop students from walking home after school. A viewer first alerted KELOLAND News, telling us about students who were walking along the shoulder of Maple Street -- where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour. Our KELOLAND News camera also spotted a student walking home on the side of the road.
"Build some sidewalks out here. It'd be really nice," the student said to us.
While picking up her daughter, Mindy Bloom also expressed her concerns.
"It does worry me, because cars drive really fast," Bloom said.
Teachers and staff are monitoring the situation. Principal LaVonna Emanuel said they call parents when they see a student walking on the shoulder. The goal is to find the student a ride home.
"Probably 20 minutes ago, one of my assistant principals was reaching out to the parent of a kid we did see heading toward the fire station," Emanuel said.
Though we were not able to confirm if this was the same student our camera spotted, we did see him 20 minutes before interviewing Emanuel. He was also the only student we saw walking on Wednesday.
Emanuel said they have also added a new bus to pick up students who stay after school for sports or other activities.
As Sioux Falls grows and develops, this school will not likely be out there on its own forever. The principal said she expects neighborhoods to surround the school, and bring sidewalks to the area.
"That's going to be the fun thing about being out here is watching how the landscape will change," Emanuel said.
Despite these efforts, Bloom worries they are not enough to replace sidewalks at this moment.
"I think they should've had them in before the school opened, actually," Bloom said.
According to the School District, the developers will put in the sidewalks when the homes and neighborhoods go in.