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Why Is Sanford Donating Land For Schools?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Sanford Health is donating land for one, possibly two, schools in Sioux Falls. 

The healthcare organization is giving land to Sioux Falls Lutheran School. 

It's also offering up 35 acres to Sioux Falls public schools. 

Why is Sanford donating land to schools? 

KELOLAND News has shown you the crowding at some schools. 

Because of that, voters passed a $190 million bond to build three new schools. District officials are eyeing four pieces of land for a new high school, including the 35 acres Sanford says it would donate to the district. 

"This is really about health, wellness and in this situation education that supports these children and then supports the communities we serve," Sanford Director of Development Matt Ditmanson said.

Sanford is also donating land to Sioux Falls Lutheran School. The 30 acres are in southwestern Sioux Falls, near 69th St. and Tallgrass Ave.

"That was part of looking at the legacy of Sioux Valley Lutheran Hospital back in the day," Ditmanson said.

Ditmanson says there won't be any naming rights associated with the gifts, so the new Sioux Falls public school likely won't be known as Sanford High School.

"We would provide sports medicine for that school. I think it's for 20 years we would do sports medicine, like we do with Lincoln High School and Roosevelt," Ditmanson said.

Sanford also owns land nearby the two possible school sites. Ditmanson admits having a school there could be good news for land development. 

"Absolutely. The more traffic out here at the Sports Complex, the better," Ditmanson said.

While Ditmanson doesn't know of any other planned school land donations, there's a good chance it's not Sanford's last gift.

"As we continue to grow, the needs will continue to evolve," Ditmanson said.

The district will likely make a decision on where the new high school will go sometime next month. 

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