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Willmar, Minn., School District likely to discuss Garfield sale sometime in October

WILLMAR -- The Willmar School Board will probably not discuss the potential sale of the Garfield school building until its Oct. 10 meeting.

According to a release from Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard, the Islamic Society of Willmar had not responded to a counteroffer from the district by Wednesday.

The district had made an informal request that the society respond by then so that the district would have time to prepare documents for the Monday board meeting. If the society accepts the counteroffer, the potential sale would most likely be discussed again at the next regular meeting of the school board on Oct. 10, Kjergaard wrote.

Few details of the original offer or the counteroffer have been made public.

The Islamic Society made an offer a month ago to purchase the Garfield building, located at 512 Eighth St. S.W. in Willmar.

The School Board submitted a counteroffer in late August. The sale offer includes purchasing the northern half of the two-block Garfield property and includes the school building.

The school building is currently used as the district's alternative high school.

If Garfield is sold, the Area Learning Center would move to the empty Lincoln Elementary building at 511 Julii St. S.E. in Willmar.

Part of the counteroffer from the district concerned removing technology equipment from the Garfield building and arranging an orderly move for the programs currently using the building.

Since then, the city of Willmar has discussed purchasing the southern half of the Garfield property, which is now used as a park. The city has not made a formal offer for the southern half of the property.

The School Board meets at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the boardroom on the first floor of the Willmar Education and Arts Center, 611 Fifth St. S.W.

The public is invited to make comments to the board. Those wishing to address items on the agenda may speak at the beginning of the meeting. Those wishing to talk about issues not on the agenda may speak at the end of the meeting.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

(320) 214-4340