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ACGC School District says its elementary school in Cosmos, Minn., is now on market

COSMOS -- The elementary school in Cosmos is for sale. Although no formal vote was taken Monday at the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board meeting, Superintendent Sherri Broderius said the board reached a consensus that the district would seek a "transfer of ownership" of the Cosmos elementary school building.

The district stopped using the school building this spring when all the kindergarten through fourth-grade classes in the district were moved to the elementary school in Atwater.

Several entities lease space in the building, which is maintained by ACGC.

The Southwest/West Central Service Cooperative is the biggest client.

It rents much of the building for the Cosmos Learning Center that teaches students with special needs, including a unique autism program.

A local taxidermy business also leases space in the school building after a fire destroyed its storefront location in Cosmos.

Broderius said the district intends to work with the city of Cosmos or a local economic development organization to transfer ownership. She said the district would also work with an individual interested in purchasing the building.

She said because the Cosmos Learning Center is part of the service cooperative, which doesn't own buildings, they are not a likely buyer.

Broderius said the board wanted to make the community aware that the district is looking to transfer ownership.

Lori Martins has resigned from her position on the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board, effective Dec. 31.

In a letter to the ACGC School Board, Martin said her family has purchased a house in Willmar and will no longer be living in the ACGC district.

The school board accepted her letter of resignation Monday and discussed how best to fill the term which expires at the end of 2014.

Broderius said the Minnesota School Boards Association recommends that someone be appointed to fill the term, preferably an individual who has served on the board before.

Chairman Joel Gratz asked on Monday if longtime member Judy Raske, who did not run for re-election this year and whose term ends Dec. 31, would be willing to serve another two years.

Broderius said Raske did say she would agree to serve if appointed.

But Broderius said board member Scott Stafford also suggested that one of the candidates who ran this year but were not elected could be asked to accept appointment.

Gratz indicated he would also talk to those individuals. A decision on appointing a replacement will be made at the Dec. 17 board meeting.

In her letter of resignation Martin said she has enjoyed her two years on the board and "gained a profound respect for past, present and future members. It was such a privilege to serve and I know now all the hard work and deep thought that goes into the task."

She said the district has a bright future because of the "hard work and dedication of its administration, staff, students and board members."

In other business:

- The board reviewed the goals of the district that were discussed during a recent board retreat.

- The board agreed to send members to the Atwater, Cosmos and Grove City council meetings to talk about school district issues with the city.

- The board agreed to replace lights in the theater after it was determined that lightning strikes damaged the lights. It's hoped insurance will cover the replacement cost.

- The results of an online survey of about 100 district residents were reviewed. The board agreed that more communication is needed between the school and families.

- An anti-bullying program by a national group called "OmegaMen" will be held this morning at the Junior/Senior High School in Grove City. The program will be at 8:30 a.m. for grade 5-8 and at 10 a.m. for grades 6-12.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750