MACCRAY board moves toward closing junior
CLARA CITY -- The MACCRAY School Board is moving forward with a plan to close the junior high building in Clara City at the end of this school year. The next step in the process will be a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15. The public hearing is...
CLARA CITY -- The MACCRAY School Board is moving forward with a plan to close the junior high building in Clara City at the end of this school year.
The next step in the process will be a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15. The public hearing is required before the board can make the final decision to close the building.
The junior high now houses seventh- and-eighth grade classes, which have just two sections each. There is enough room for the students at the high school across town, said superintendent Greg Schmidt.
The board will discuss a timeline for closing the school at its Dec. 18 meeting. Decisions must still be made about where to send some of the equipment at the school,
The district faces some logistical problems in closing the school. "There's a whole computer lab and library that needs to be incorporated," into the high school, he said, and the loss of theater and gymnasium space will be a problem.
The district will save an estimated $120,000 a year by closing the school, he said. That translates into several staff positions, depending on the job and pay scale.
"I'd much rather close a building than lose people," Schmidt said.
The School Board accepted the annual audit report. The board has used reserve funds in the past few years, and the reserves have shrunk from about $1 million to about $500,000.
The auditor said the board could continue to use its reserves as needed but recommended that the spending should be slowed, Schmidt said. The district has an annual budget of just less than $8 million.
The board voted to reimburse mileage at the federal rate. The Internal Revenue Service will allow 48.5 cents a mile beginning Jan. 1.
An old school bus was declared obsolete by the board. It can no longer be certified by the state Department of Transportation.
The board certified the results of the Nov. 7 election. Board member Randy Jannsen was re-elected to a four-year term, and board members Debi Brandt and Lane Schwitters were elected to their first four-year terms on the board.
The next board meeting will be at 4 p.m. Dec. 18. The meeting will be held earlier than usual to accommodate a band concert.