SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s a move that could change the lives of dozens of Middle School students in Sioux Falls.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Sioux Empire is partnering with the Sioux Falls School District to give kids a safe and convenient place to go after school.

They announced that for the first time, they are building a Boys and Girls Club on school property. The two entities will build an addition directly onto the middle school. Principal Tim Koehler calls this a great opportunity for his students.

“With our school being so far away from a neighborhood, we often don’t have a place for our students to go, and just the idea that they can walk right through one door and right into the Boys & Girls Club right in the next building is just an awesome thing,” said Koehler.

The 16,000-square-foot addition will include a gym, an innovation lab, a teaching kitchen, and social spaces. Superintendent Jane Stavem says the project will transform how they serve students and prepare them for the future.

“We want kids to have a place to belong after school, the tutoring, the snacks, everything that goes with a high-quality after-school program as well,” said Stavem.

Boys and Girls Club CEO Stacy Jones says a lot of work went into making this happen but has no doubt it will pay off.

“I see a lot of happy kids. I see a lot of kids experiencing something they’ve never experienced before, and I cannot wait for that building to open,” said Jones.

Jones told the crowd that funding for the project comes from the Seeds for Success Foundation and T. Denny Sanford. Boys and Girls Club construction will begin next spring and should be open by the fall of 2025.