SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls School District officials broke ground on the Ben Reifel Middle School in southeast Sioux Falls on Monday.

The school is expected to open in Fall 2021. District officials said at a Monday school board meeting the project is about a month behind, but is expected to still finish on-time.

“This is progress for our community and progress for our school district,” said superintendent Brian Maher.

The school will be situated on the eastern border of the district.

“This area of Sioux Falls has seen significant growth in the last decade. We don’t anticipate that growth to slow anytime soon,” said Erica Beck, Chief of Staff to Mayor Paul TenHaken

Beck said the city will put a new traffic signal at 41st and Faith to help with traffic to the school.

The school is named after former U.S. Rep. Ben Reifel.


“U.S. Representative Ben Reifel is a shining example of how important education is,” said school board President Cynthia Mickelson.

Maher said he didn’t know who Reifel was until the naming committee brought the name forward.

“I take no pride in that,” Maher said. “After looking up Ben Reifel, I think what great courage.”

Reifel’s family was at the groundbreaking to share stories about the former Congressman’s historic time in Washington D.C. and his path through education.

“In the end what we have is a symbol for our community and certainly a symbol for the students of a great South Dakotan, a great American and a great Lakotan,” Maher said.