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Organizations line up to express interest in NRMS building

The former New Richmond middle school building is a hot commodity.

At last month's school board meeting, a representative from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College spoke to the board about using the facility. At the July 20 meeting, two representatives from the Head Start program made their case.

Mona Karau, the local Head Start center director, and Barb Christenson expressed the New Richmond Head Start program's interest in the middle school. Currently, the New Richmond program is housed in the St. Croix County Health Center. The space is inadequate and Head Start's lease runs out within the year, at which point they must move to a different facility.

"There's not a lot of options here in New Richmond," said Karau, adding that the middle school wouldn't need as many renovations to meet Head Start's requirements.

The board acknowledged that the Head Start program would go well with WITC's Early Childhood Training program, which was one program that WITC wanted to move into the building if they were able.

The New Richmond Ambulance Service has also expressed interest in the site.

A work session was set for Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. to discuss the options for the middle school building and work on several other board topics.

The old high school is being renovated to ready it for its new role as the New Richmond Middle School. Workers ran into one problem.

"There's asbestos around the windows," said District Administrator Morrie Veilleux.

He added that the problem is being taken care of.

In other news the board:

• Listened as Veilleux presented the preliminary 2010-11 budget. The district did receive a good amount of state aid.

"We're a winner. I just thought we'd be a bigger winner," said Veilleux, adding that he had anticipated more aid than was given.

• Heard a student achievement report which showed that the district made adequate yearly progress this year. Under the No Child Left Behind law, all Wisconsin public schools must meet the state's AYP data.