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New Richmond School Board approves revised New Richmond Library master plan

New Richmond School District

After many months of back and forth and discussion of how the old middle school property should be used, the New Richmond School Board approved the City of New Richmond's New Richmond Library Master Plan at its March 20 regular meeting.

"Although it wasn't perfect, this process went exactly as it should," said City Council member Craig Kittle. "You said what you thought, we said what we thought. We got the right thing done in the end. The process works."

The school board had previously dicusssed the new master plan during its last learning session earlier in the month, which brought up a few items that the board members wanted clarification on before they would approve the plan. The first was a clarification around the phrase "family events" under the "Conference Room and Community Space" subhead and the second clarification centered on what was meant by "separate commercial" under the "In Summary" section.

The city responded to the request for clarification of the definition of "family events" by saying:

"If meeting rooms in the library supported by public funds are made available to the general public for non-library sponsored events, the library may not exclude any group based on the subject matter to be discussed or based on the ideas that the plan advocates. Therefore, the library's facilities are open to organizations engaged in educational, cultural, intellectual and charitable activities."

The city also responded to the request for clarification of the definition of "separate commercial structures" by saying:

"Separate means that there would not be any additional buildings for commercial enterprises outside of the building/library."

By request of board member Chris Skoglund, the new definitions of family events and separate commercial structures replace the old language in the master plan document to be approved by the board.

After a short discussion of the additions of the new language provided by the City of New Richmond, the board approved the New Richmond Library master plan along with the modification and addition of the new language.

The next steps, according to District Administrator Patrick Olson, are figuring out the purchase agreement, but that will all have to wait until the old middle school is completely demolished and the property is seeded, as per the original agreement between the city and the district. Olson said the project is on schedule to be completed by June 1.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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