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It's official: old middle school property transfers to city

The New Richmond Board of Education approved the old middle school closing resolution to officially transfer ownership of the property over to the City of New Richmond in hopes that a new library can be built there in the near future.

"Rick (Hinz, board president) did sign the closing documents for the old middle school," said district administrator Patrick Olson. "We do have official proof here, with this check for $1, that the city did pay for the property. I don't have cupcakes again, but it is officially done. I'd like to say one final congratulations to this group for the hard work you put in to get this done."

After discussing the 2018-19 school calendar at last month's meeting, the school board approved the newest version of the schedule, which includes the continued elimination of early out days, a spring break and having school end the first week of June.

"We haven't made any changes from what we brought you last month, but we have been getting some positive feedback from the staff and the different groups we have shown the calendar to," Olson said. "We still lead around schools in hours of instruction. The one thing that this calendar does have a change of one less day of instruction. However, when you think about how we have basically got that back...in getting rid of the early out days, since everything is shortened and modified on those days and it makes it hard for teachers to get much done. We feel very good about this calendar."

The new calendar also allows for three snow days, and even if there are more snow days past the three budgeted, Olson said the district should be able to make changes to the end of the school year without having to go past the first week of June.

Olson also brought up permanently changing the day of the month for the December regular board meeting (regularly scheduled for the third Monday of each month) in order to not have to change the date every year to avoid overlap with the district's holiday concert night. The concert night has traditionally been scheduled for the third Monday of December as well, with the school board regularly approving a change of date for the December board meeting to allow board members and staff to attend the concerts.

The board moved this year's regular meeting, which was scheduled to be held on Monday, Dec. 18, to Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 6 p.m. The board also approved the permanent movement of the December meeting to the third Tuesday each year. In addition, the board approved a motion to move the November regular meeting from Monday, Nov. 20, to Monday, Nov. 27, to better suit the schedules of the board members.

The school board also approved the final budget and tax levy for the 2017-18 school year, which saw the district's tax levy set at $15,546,263, a 4.6 percent increase from last year. The district also has over $86,000 that will remain unbudgeted for the time being until the board decides what to do with it, such as possibly fixing the school sprinkler system or something similar.

The board approved the start of a new Hazel Reinhardt enrollment study so they can have the findings for an upcoming school board special session.

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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