Ben Reifel Middle School
(This series is intended to highlight the new construction, renovation and upgrades to the K-12 public school system in South Dakota. Content submitted is provided by the architects of the projects.)
The newest middle school in Sioux Falls is set to welcome students on August 26th, serving the southeast side of town. Ben Reifel Middle School is the first school east of Highway 11/ Veterans Parkway, about a half mile down 41st Street. The school combines the features of the previous George McGovern and Memorial Middle Schools, while also incorporating dispersed storm shelters to house the entire school population in inclement weather.
Designed for an ultimate student body of 1200 6th, 7th and 8th graders, the school covers over 180,000 square feet. Amenities include a 499-seat auditorium, competition gym, special education suite and 70-inch monitors in all classrooms.
The 23-acre site features a track and field complex with football, shot put, discus and long-jump facilities. Parking for over 200 vehicles is provided, with nearly 200 trees planted to shade the grounds.
The middle school is named for Ben Reifel, a Native American educator and the first Sioux congressman in South Dakota. His detailed biography can be found at: https://www.sdstate.edu/sdsu-archives-and-special-collections/life-ben-reifel
Keith Thompson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a principal at Koch Hazard Architects in Sioux Falls.