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Sioux City area schools plan for influx Expect new pork plant to draw more students

By Staff | Jun 4, 2015

Sioux City area schools plan for influx

Expect new pork plant

to draw more students

SIOUX CITY (AP) – The new pork processing plant planned for Sioux City is two years away, but area schools have already started planning for the possible surge in enrollment.

The $264 million Seaboard Triumph Food plant is expected to employ more than 1,000 people when it opens in 2017.

Sioux City Superintendent Paul Gausman said his district is expecting between 200 and 500 additional students.

Gausman said the district plans to study its needs closely over the next year to determine if any schools should be expanded and when new schools will be needed.

“We’re ready today if those students arrived, but we owe it to the community to think about additional growth opportunities,” he said. “We want to make certain we will be ready for growth so at no time we are a burden to the community.”

Several other area districts, including the Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Bishop Heelan Catholic and South Sioux City districts had expansion projects in the works before the pork plant was announced that will help handle any growth.

The Sergeant Bluff-Luton district is planning to ask voters in September to support a $45 million bond issue to build a new high school and renovate existing buildings.

“When we were looking at the expansion and new high school, we are planning for growth,” Superintendent Rod Earleywine said. “When this plan was put together, we were anticipating continual moderate growth.”

Bishop Heelan spokeswoman Janet Flanagan said the Catholic district just opened a $15 million fine arts center across the street from its high school, so it can handle more students.

South Sioux City Superintendent Vernon Fisher said his district is studying either building a new facility or renovating existing ones to better handle growth and new programs, but it hasn’t decided which option to pursue.

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