LifeScape embarks on Journey of Hope for Children’s… | LifeScape

LifeScape embarks on Journey of Hope for Children’s Services

The current location of Lifescape’s Children’s Services was a cornfield when ground was broken in October 1950 for “Crippled Children’s Hospital & School.” Opened in March 1952, the building was designed as a residential school and rehab hospital for children recovering from polio.

After the polio virus was cured later in the 1950’s, the building and services evolved to serve children with other needs. It was added onto three times over the decades to meet the needs of increasing numbers of children, with diagnoses becoming more varied and complex.

A few years ago, with mounting costs to maintain the old building, waiting lists, and no room to expand, the LifeScape Board of Directors began exploring options for future generations of children. A decision was made in 2018 to build a new children’s facility and plans began, as well as quiet fundraising.

Our fundraising campaign is called the “Journey of Hope,” because one thing so many families have told us over the years is that LifeScape offers them hope for their child. The Journey of Hope has navigated the COVID pandemic, scarce land availability, and inflationary building costs, but we’ve always kept our mission in mind, “Empowering people to live their best life.” Now, we are poised to begin building a new children’s services campus!

In May 2023 we purchased ten acres of land in northwest Sioux Falls for our project. Not so long ago, it too, was a cornfield. It is on West 34th Street North and North Career Avenue, south of Benson Road and west of I-29.

The new LifeScape Children’s Services will be built in two phases, with room for future expansion. Phase I will include a 69-bed children’s residential area, a 25% larger specialty school, an 18-bed pediatric rehabilitation hospital, expanded inpatient and intensive outpatient therapy space, and some administrative offices. The project will cost $98 million, with $86 million already raised. The Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce has approved the project for a $1.8 million Community Appeals Fund Drive, set for April 1 through July 31st of this year. This will complete Phase I of the project.

Our Community Appeals Fund Drive is April 1-July 31, 2024

The Greater Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce has approved the project for a $1.8 million
Community Appeals Fund Drive, set for April 1 through July 31st, 2024.

This will fund the new playground, completing Phase I of the project. Gifts to the project can be made through the campaign website, or by contacting the Foundation office at (605) 444-9800 or

Phase II fundraising will begin as soon as Phase I is completed. It will include a gym, pool, therapy pool, and visitation space, plus more administrative offices. A buyer is being sought for the current 26th Street Hospital & School property, with proceeds applied to the fundraising total. Phase III is for future expansion of children’s residential space when needed.

LifeScape’s two outpatient centers will remain at their current locations, as will Adult Services. We are continuing our commitment to improve and replace homes for the adults we support.

Some utility work has been completed on the land, and we will break ground on Friday, April 12th. It is a 30-month process, so we anticipate finishing by December 2026.

The progress of the project can be followed on the campaign website, Gifts to the project can be made through the website, or by contacting the Foundation office at (605) 444-9800 or

Tech visionary Steve Jobs believed that we’re all here “to put a ding in the universe.” He understood the power of the individual to change the world for good, in large and small ways. The Journey of Hope will make that impact—providing hope for children and families for generations to come. We hope you’ll join us.

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Join us as we break ground on our new facility at 1:30 p.m., Friday, April 12th, 2024! The site is North Career Avenue at West 34th Street North. Please dress according to the weather and be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. For a map and parking information, visit

Groundbreaking for our current building on October 12, 1950. The child second from left, the little girl with blonde hair using a wheelchair, is Cheryl Foss, daughter of Joe Foss, Governor of South Dakota from 1955 to 1959.


You can follow the project on the campaign website,

We hope you'll join us by making a gift today!