SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — More changes could be coming to what was once called the University Center of Sioux Falls, including another name change.
KELOLAND News looks back at the history of the institution that was first built over a decade ago to encourage more students into higher education.
In 2006, the South Dakota Legislature approved the construction of a $20 million package of two buildings and the purchase of 263 acres of land on the northwest side of Sioux Falls.
It was paid for by a combination of state funds, student payments, grants and federal funds.
The University Center of Sioux Falls held its first classes in January 2009.
It began as a place where all six of South Dakota’s traditional universities could offer courses toward a four-year bachelor’s degree.
Early on the idea seemed to be working as enrollment was taking off.
It reached as high as 3,800 students in the fall of 2010.
The next year, the South Dakota Board of Regents opened a third building for science and technology classes.
But enrollment began to drop.
It was down to 2,800 by the fall of 2013 and it kept falling year after year.
In 2016, the University of South Dakota began taking the lead role. That’s also when regents began publicly discussing a community college model.
In the fall of 2018, enrollment dropped even more. It was reported at just over 1,100 students.
That’s when the Board of Regents decided to make a change. The University Center was rebranded with what USD called ‘a clearer focus and stronger vision’ and changed the institution’s name to Community College for Sioux Falls.
Now the Board of Regents wants to switch its role again or possibly sell it to get out from under the remaining debt.
Those recommendations fell under the Senate Bill 55 efficiencies report.
Wednesday the South Dakota Board of Regents accepted it and directed staff to submit it in final form to the governor and the legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations.