What’s next for Longfellow? How about a public indoor swimming pool?

I have often been told the reason that the city and the school district have not gone in together on a public indoor pool is because, well, they don’t really work together on things. Yet magically, it was announced on Tuesday that the city and the school district are going to work together to come up with a use for Longfellow;

It’s possible Longfellow Elementary School could become city property after it closes in 2015, but the first step is determining a use for the 100,000-square-foot site.

The Sioux Falls School District — which is moving forward with consolidation plans — last week offered to transfer the property to the city or sell it for $1, Community Development director Darrin Smith told city councilors this week.

The next steps regarding a possible transfer include internal discussions with the 12 city department leaders, Smith said.

What a perfect opportunity to not only work together on a joint project, but to take a centrally located historical building and refab it!


#1 Sy on 12.13.12 at 12:08 pm

Not bad out-of-the-box thinking Lewis, but first you have to make the building ADA accessable and update the mechanical systems for any use and the tab to do so is $2 million. The engineering and structural improvements necessary to make the interior clear span to accomodate a pool would likely triple that number, before you even get to the pool and it’s components.

Final point, it’s very close to Drake Springs and I thought that neighborhood decided rather vehemently that an indoor pool would bring in all those undesirable rich kids and their commie swim meets thereby rendering their little enclave uninhabitable?

#2 l3wis on 12.13.12 at 12:25 pm

I guess I just found it ironic that I have been told by at least 3 councilors that they DONT ‘work together’ with the school district, that is why they never approached them about a public indoor pool, yet all of sudden they are holding hands and singing hymns together on the Longfellow project. On your note, I’m no construction expert, but I bet you could gut the building and leave the outer walls, and turn the playground into a parking lot much cheaper then building a brand new indoor pool at Spellerberg.

#3 Alice15 on 12.13.12 at 2:02 pm

I was at the informational meeting and I never left with the impression that the city was going to work with the school district on the Longfellow building/land. Homan is trying to pass this off to the city so she, and probably more importantly – the school board and the district have to learn now how to be good community leaders and neighbors and figure out what to do with this property so they don’t totally screw this neighborhood and their families. I think the city got sucked in so Homan can do what she always does and pass the blame and the work on to someone else. I think Smith will do the needed things to make it look like they truly looked at this – but in the end I think the city will say “too bad, your problem, you deal with it,” which is exactly what they should do.

As I have said in the past – this would be a fantastic location for our new charter (oops) Spanish Immersion school. Seriously – what elementary school should be located out by STI? NONE!

#4 Sy on 12.13.12 at 2:15 pm

I’d take your bet, because when you have your new shiny multi million $$ Longfellow indoor pool you still need to address Spellerberg and add the cost of fixing that pool, which was the whole point of the project to begin with.

And again, you’re adding a new pool not far from where you just added the last new pool, to me that makes zero sense, especially when you remember that McKennan Park and it’s kiddie pool is a block away.

#5 Sy on 12.13.12 at 2:17 pm

And for what it’s worth, I think there’s a use to be found for a renovated Longfellow, I just don’t know what that might be at this point.

#6 Sy on 12.13.12 at 2:40 pm

And one last thing, everyone seems to be toeing the Staggers’ line about it being a park making no sense since McKennan is nearby, how about we look at some park features that McKennan is lacking and perhaps a park isn’t such a dumb idea?

-Dog park
-Softball diamonds (paging Kenny Anderson)
-Ice rink
-Frisbee golf
-Soccer field

We have several parks in town that are within a block or two of another park, so it’s not like we would be setting a precedent.

#7 Detroit Lewis on 12.13.12 at 2:58 pm

Alice – I agree, Homan is just trying to wash her hands in the matter. I have a feeling Vernon Brown got involved in some way.

#8 Poly43 on 12.13.12 at 2:59 pm

I think there’s a use to be found for a renovated Longfellow, I just don’t know what that might be at this point.

There is one way to kill three birds with one stone here….maybe. Prolly not feasible, but worth looking into. Super Pam could sell the school districts Central Kitchen for $1 to the city. Next, turn Longfellow into a truly, “Central” Kitchen. Next, transform the vacated Central Kicthen into a 500 space $10,000,000.00 parking ramp so the soccer moms don’t have far to walk on there way to see justin bieber. At the same time, we can save a couple of McCart Field diamonds and maybe have enough cookie jar money left over to build a monument on that corner to honor subprime mikey.

#9 Detroit Lewis on 12.13.12 at 3:02 pm

How much do polished turds cost these days? (with a pedestal of course).

#10 anominous on 12.13.12 at 4:41 pm

Did anyone ever build anything on the site of the old Lincoln Elementary?


#11 pathloss on 12.14.12 at 9:49 am

Indoor paintball range. Mental health facility for pedophiles or teen school shooters.

#12 pathloss on 12.14.12 at 9:51 am

State lottery casinos. 10 machines each classroom.

#13 pathloss on 12.14.12 at 9:54 am

But seriously. Dorm for chronically homeless.

#14 pathloss on 12.14.12 at 9:58 am

Storage for uncounted ‘Nay’ events center ballots.

#15 Tom H. on 12.14.12 at 10:13 am

Just don’t tear down these buildings. They’re beautiful, appropriately-scaled neighborhood landmarks.

#16 Sy on 12.14.12 at 1:51 pm

I do like Alice’s idea about it being a school for Spanish Immersion, it is centally located for all corners of town to get to and it even has a little Spanish flair in it’s design that if updated correctly could be a pretty cool building.

#17 Sy on 12.14.12 at 1:54 pm

Of course we’d have to change the name to “Compañero de Largo” 🙂

#18 pathloss on 12.15.12 at 11:42 am

I made a comment here (#11) about school shooters. I meant it humorously. In lieu of yesterday’s school massacre, it’s inappropriate. Id like to publically apologize here. I’m punishing myself and helping children with a donation to ‘Children’s Inn’.

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