The 60-day period following the board’s closure of the Middle River building, a time in which legal representation or others could challenge or petition the closure, came to an end on July 6.
“No challenges were sent or made to our district,” Greenbush-Middle River Superintendent Tom Jerome said. “Therefore, we as a district are free to move forward, if you choose to, as a school board.”
So, at its July 16 meeting, Greenbush-Middle River School Board members agreed to move forward with discussions with the City of Middle River to sell the building.
Jerome explained how, according to legal counsel, the school does not have to send real estate or the building out on bids. The sale of the building would require more than a verbal agreement, but also paperwork documentation, Jerome said, if the board is still interested in moving forward with selling the building and property.
Currently, the Middle River school building and property remains under district ownership, but the City of Middle River– represented by Mayor Mark Stromsodt– expressed interest in purchasing the building from the district for $1 at the board’s May 21 meeting. At this May meeting, several board members and Superintendent Jerome agreed this was something to look into or was a good idea.
The board discussed several issues regarding the possible building sale. Board member Laurie Stromsodt addressed the legal issues related to dropping students off following after school practices.
“We would need some place for these children to be picked up by from their parents because we do not have after school (transportation) where they go directly to their homes,” Stromsodt said. “… We the school district will be responsible for those children.”
Board Chairperson Shane Kilen said the sports board could make recommendations regarding this issue.
The board also discussed school property line issues. Kilen thought the district should give the city everything from the building south. He also mentioned parceling out the football and baseball fields on the property. In response to the parceling out of the two fields, board members Stromsodt and Joe Melby both asked the question, “ For what?” Stromsodt said she would assume that if the City of Middle River purchases this building it would want the fields. Kilen then said it was just an idea.
Board member Melby said the district would likely not use the baseball of football field anymore. Kilen then asked about taking any of the football equipment, such as bleachers and lights. Melby asked if the bleachers were donated and Stromsodt confirmed this and added that she thought the lights were donated too.
“If they’re donated, they’re donated,” Kilen said. “They’re still property of the school district.”
Melby questioned the district’s need for this equipment and added how the district should sell everything as one.
At this July meeting, the board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee agreed to reach out to the City of Middle River to schedule a meeting regarding the building sale.
To see the full board story, read the July 25 issue of The Tribune in print or online.