Mt. Iron-Buhl explores Plan B: new school

Iron Range newsAn unpopular plan to build a large new high school for the Iron Range districts of Mountain Iron-Buhl, Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia now abandoned, MI-B is considering building its own new school. This according to Jana Hollingsworth of the Duluth News-Tribune and other local media covering the district’s board meeting this week.

One interesting feature here is that in the process of trying to build the shared school, the state legislature passed a bill last session paying between $8-10 million annually to districts that build a new school shared by multiple Iron Range communities. The money would pay down the bonds using mining revenue, easing the burden on local property taxpayers. That bill is still on the books, even if it’s apparent that the districts it was written for won’t be collecting.

So, would anyone on the Iron Range like to build a new, modern, state-of-the-art school? You’d have to consolidate, but if we’re being honest here, some districts will be facing that music in coming years anyway. Nashwauk-Keewatin and Greenway seem like obvious candidates, as would Ely and some of the county schools up that direction. Perhaps during the next economic contraction, MI-B, Virginia and E-G would reconsider a plan that made more logistical sense?

In any event, the seed is planted. Wise superintendents and boards may soon realize the potential here.


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