December 4, 2017 Facilities

Sioux City Neighborhood Changing as Hunt Elementary Plans Advance

A midtown neighborhood is changing in the 1900 blocks of Jackson and Nebraska streets.

Homes are being sold along both sides of the street, soon to be demolished.

That is being done in order to get rid of the more-than-century-old Hunt Elementary School in the 2000 blocks of the streets, in order to build a new one just to the south by the year 2022.

Some people living in the area are fine with the changes, even though it means they must move.

“Just on this block alone, they are displacing 20 apartments, and that doesn’t include the other street,” Carmen Janssen said.

Janssen, who lives in one of six apartments in the chopped-up old Victorian home at 1909 Jackson, supports the new school. Janssen has lived in the rental unit for three years, and is debating whether to stay in Sioux City or move nearer to her hometown of Sheldon, Iowa.

She said the rentals don’t get great upkeep, pointing to new upstairs graffiti from Thanksgiving week, while noting there are a lot of police calls to the neighborhood. That’s why Janssen said “it is a blessing” to have a new $20.5 million school to in some way freshen up the neighborhood, which is far from an affluent portion of Sioux City.

“It is a godsend, because this place needs to go. It helps improve the community, with the school,” Janssen said.

The current Hunt Elementary is at 615 20th St. The school dates to 1906, making it by far the oldest in the public school system.

Sioux City School District officials keep hitting early benchmarks in the planning process to construct a new Hunt Elementary School by 2022. They are nearing the quest to buy all needed 11 properties.

View the full story from the Sioux City Journal

by Bret Hayworth