Sioux Center Intermediate School playground

This rendering shows the new equipment to be installed at the Sioux Center Intermediate School this summer. It will include a swing set, slides and a two-tier merry-go-round.

SIOUX CENTERPlans are coming along to install new playground equipment at the current Sioux Center Middle School in preparation for its transition to become the Sioux Center Intermediate School next fall.

The intermediate school will contain fourth- and fifth-grades.

Jared Ackerman, who will be the intermediate school principal, updated the Sioux Center School District Board of Education at its April 19 meeting. He said that with the project bid out, the total cost will be about $200,000.

The equipment comes from Fry Park and Playground Equipment of Kansas City, MO. Van’t Hof Concrete of Sioux Center will handle the dirt and concrete work for the project, while Van Holland Lawn Service of Sioux Center will do the rubber surfacing and landscape work.

Vision Builders of Sioux Center will volunteer time and resources to assist in building the playground equipment.

The equipment will be assembled and installed June 18-19. Dirt work at the site will begin earlier that week.

“June 18, we pour in some footers for the posts and on the 19th, we connect all the equipment,” Ackerman said.

The playground equipment will feature swings, a competitive course along the lines of American Ninja Warrior and three slides. It also includes a double-decker merry-go-round.

“It is on a braking system, and I’ve been guaranteed that it is safe. It should be quite fun,” Ackerman said.

The main playground unit’s 7-foot-tall platform will be wheelchair accessible thanks to a ramp.

“One of our slides will have what’s called an integrity bench,” Ackerman said. “The student will have to get off their wheelchair to go down the slide, but at the bottom of the slide is an area where they can scoot over and the other kids can keep going down the slide. The person with their wheelchair can come around then and pick them up.”

One of the swings will also have a securing belt so that it can be used by handicapped children as well.

“We really had to focus the playground on kids between the ages of 8-12. All of these pieces are a little more exciting for students in that fourth- and fifth-grade range,” Ackerman said. “At the same time, we know that that side of the community doesn’t have a lot for playgrounds, so any time it’s not school hours, it could be accessed by kids of any age.”

Ackerman said parents are welcome to volunteer that weekend to help in the assembly process.

“They could help out with organizing equipment, running to get other equipment,” he said. “It could even just be helping supply snacks or serving snacks. There are lots of little things that could help those out there working on it.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can reach out to Ackerman by phone at 712-722-1541 or by e-mail at

High school update

In other matters, the new high school building is about 92 percent complete, according to Marcus DePalma, the project manager from Carl A. Nelson.

“We’re finishing up the rough-ins and the areas that people don’t normally see, like the start up of the air handlers and cooling plant will be taken in,” he said. “We’re starting to get into the things that people do see: the finishes, the things people like to see. The gym floor is laid now and stained. We got a first coat of sealer, and they’ll start painting it this week yet. All the gym equipment is installed now, too. Flooring on the second floor is now all installed, and a lot of it is on the first floor as well.”

Some outdoor work is resuming. That mostly takes the form of regrading the landscape and seeding.

The main task for May will be to go through the punch list, which involves going through and inspecting the different parts of the building, looking if any touch-up work needs to be done.

Furniture should arrive in June.

“We’re still anticipating turning the building over on time and on schedule, no later than June 22. Right now, we’re running a day ahead,” DePalma said, adding that the project is so far under budget.