A Station for Everyone
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Newscast 11.14.2023: Sioux City School Board nixes purchase of land for Morningside area school; 4 Republican presidential candidates coming to NW Iowa event

Nodland and Sunnyside Schools, Sioux City Community School District
Nodland and Sunnyside Schools, Sioux City Community School District

SIOUX CITY — The Sioux City School Board on Monday voted against purchasing a former golf course in the Morningside area to serve as the place to build a new school to house the students in two existing elementary schools.

The proposal defeated on a 5-1 vote would have had the school district pay $457,000 for the site owned by Leash LLC of North Sioux City. The property is bounded by Lincoln Way, South St. Aubin and South Pattersons streets.

Five members of the public spoke against the concept of buying the land, towards the plan to house students now educated in Sunnyside and Nodland elementaries, which are also in the Morningside area.

The people cited the land being too steep with drainage problems and that the only reason it was selling for a relatively cheap price is that other entities have decided it was not a good location for other types of buildings. Shawn Olorundami, a teacher in the district, spoke against buying the land and building a new school, saying the district appeared to want to “ram it down our throats.”

School board member Bernie Scolaro said she toured the site Monday, and found it could have topography and drainage challenges, while board member Monique Scarlett said it could be a “money pit.”

Board chairman Dan Greenwell said the site unexpectedly came up for sale, so it made sense to consider buying the former golf course, which he called “a very viable option” before being the only member to vote for it.

Two school officials said they had reached out to an engineering firm to provide a cost estimate on what it would take to prep the parcel for building a school that would cost at least another $20 million. A school official on Tuesday said that research will not continue. Before the vote, two board members said the decision on whether to buy the land for a new school would be better addressed by the new school board members elected last week who will take office in 2024.

Nodland is Pre-Kindergarten through second grade school, and Sunnyside holds third through fifth grades. They are the only elementary schools in the district that don’t hold PK-5 grades

Additionally, several prominent Republican presidential candidates will appear at a Northwest Iowa event in December.

Northwest Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra on Monday announced a fundraiser he will hold on December 9 in Sioux Center, where the candidates who will take part include Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Doug Burgum, and Vivek Ramiswamy.

All those Republican candidates are polling in Iowa and nationally behind former President Donald Trump, who last spoke in Northwest Iowa in Sioux City’s Orpheum Theatre on October 29.

The December event called Faith and Family with the Feenstra’s will be held on the campus of Dordt University. It will be taking place five weeks out from the important Iowa caucuses in the 2024 presidential selection process.