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City won't adopt empty school

September 25, 2012
Jenn Brookens - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

ARMSTRONG - Despite the best efforts of a group of Ringsted citizens attempting to save the town's school building, time is running out.

Alan Madden, who has been organizing efforts to get businesses interested in the site, said recent talks with the city to take over liability for the building were disappointing.

"The outcome of the city meeting was a letdown," Madden admits. "We thought there was a decidedly different opinion when we went in there. But we will continue to work with them. What we need is an entity to take it over, just as a pass-through, not necessarily a continued participation ... I thought there'd be some horse-trading at least, some, 'If you do this, then we'll do that,' But it seems they came in with their minds made up."

There is still some reported interest in the building.

Madden stated a company called "Aqua Ponds" is interested in making a presentation to the city and school board sometime next week.

Meanwhile, Armstrong-Ringsted Superintendent Matt Berninghaus stated that a second entity has expressed interest.

The school board, for its part, is determined to reach a decision on the building before the snow flies. The original deadline it had set was Sept. 1.

"It's going to be a hard decision." said board president Jim Boyer. "Do we just want to reduce the liability to the district, or should we be looking into the business plans of these offers?"

No action was taken on the building Monday at the school board meeting.

In other business, the board moved forward with its plan to consolidate with Sentral in order to meet a December deadline to have the petition to consolidate to the state.

A general consensus was needed with the school name (North Union), territory covered (all of the current A-R and Sentral districts) and governing. For future school boards, there would be five members - three to represent each of the current A-R voting districts, and two from Sentral.

"We need to make sure this passes," Boyer said. "We only get one chance to consolidate and that's it."

 
 

 

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