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RCW plans community meeting on closing of school in Sacred Heart

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RENVILLE -- The Renville County West School Board is moving forward with a plan to move all the district's students into one building.

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The board voted this week to hold a community information meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the large gym at the school in the current high school in Renville.

The board is seeking public input on a plan that includes closing the current elementary school in Sacred Heart and starting the 2009-2010 school year with students from pre-school through gr-ade 12 in Renville.

A public hearing on the school closing is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 17 at the Sacred Heart School.

Superintendent Lance Bagstad said the board had asked administrators to develop a plan for closing a school building.

The move should save the district about $325,000 a year without losing any programs, he said.

"We are going to be able to enhance our curriculum by doing this," he said.

The move will enable the district to reinstate its middle school programs lost when the district closed the middle school in Danube several years ago. Those students were sent to the Renville and Sacred Heart schools.

The Renville building is large enough, just barely, to hold all 520 students, Bagstad said.

Students should not be affected by a lack of space, he said, but some staff members may not have their own classrooms.

"I don't know where the central office is going to be; we may have to move out of the building," he said. "It's going to be tight for specialists and non-instructional staff."

The district last fall had asked voters to approve a bond issue for a new K-12 school, but the measure was defeated.

Along with working in tight quarters in the Renville building, the district will still have to deal with its leaking pipes and drafty windows. This week, the board approved a $295,000 project to install a sprinkler system in the building -- an improvement that was ordered after a fire inspection last year.

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