BOX ELDER, S.D. (KELO) — Many changes are coming to the City of Box Elder as it prepares for the B-21 Raider’s arrival at the Ellsworth Air Force Base. One of those changes is adjusting to thousands of people moving to town.
With more personnel needed to run an over $600-million aircraft, comes more people and their families. That will also mean more students in the classroom.
“So when we first learned that the Ellsworth Air Force Base was going to be expanding, we knew that there was going to be an influx of students coming in,” Katy Urban, with the Douglas School District, said.
The Douglas School System is made up of 2,800 students, 400 staff, and 6 schools. As the population rises and the B-21’s arrival gets closer, the district is expected to grow.
“We are looking at building three new elementary schools, a second middle school, and a third high school so it’s a big change for Douglas. It’s doubling in size but it’s exciting and we are looking forward to serving our military students,” Urban said.
Along with more students, there will likely be more people in need of medical attention. Monument Health will be building its first clinic in Box Elder to cover the growing need.
“We are still refining our plans making sure that we have exactly what we need for the Ellsworth Air Force Base and the Box Elder community, working with our architects to make sure that the plan that we produce and put out is something that’s going to last for quite some time for that community,” Mark Schulte, VP of Operations, said.
Monument Health is also expanding its Women and Children’s Specialty to accommodate the influx of families moving to the area.
“All services that are very much in line for the new folks that are coming into Box Elder,” Schulte said.
The number of students at the Douglas School District is expected to double in size over the next 7 years.