Friday, December 03, 2010

St. Louis County North School moves ahead

ISD 2142 News: Dec. 2, 2010
Article From The Cook News Herald: Dec. 2, 2010

Web Link:

The new St. Louis County North School that will be built north of Cook and south of Orr on Olson Road is quietly moving ahead. Opposition to the school is falling apart despite efforts from a small "No" Group led by the HAK Triad of Tower.

The ISD 2142 voters first approved a $78.8 million bond referendum to pay for the school by a 51 to 49 percent margin. This happened despite a one-sided crusade by one publisher from Tower.

The next roadblock was approval from St. Louis County Planning and Zoning over the plans for the new school, including wastewater handling. This was passed by a 7-1 margin after an initial tabling of it. The next roadblock was a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) hearing. The CUP was approved 7-1. All that remains is a variance. The rules for the property in question say it can't have buildings covering more than 2 percent of the land. This includes parking lots. Parking lots can be built with new materials that allow water to go through. Otherwise, the district could purchase additional land adjoining the property to handle this. In many parts of the county, this 5 percent rule goes up to 25 percent. This property, by the way, could get a license for items such as a hog feeding lot or even a nuclear power lot.

The opposition group recently held a meeting at the Crescent in Cook. They wanted the district to wait for them to come up with an alternative plan. This was their same request that they asked for six months ago. They were informed that plans are going ahead for this project.

The opposition group has wanted to have a Charter School in Tower. Their request was recently shot down by the Minnesota Department of Education. In their papers, they were asked for the names of two teachers and apparently the two they named weren't licensed and hadn't been for about four years. Since this group doesn't inform area newspapers of their meetings, the reports on them appear to be one sided.

ISD 2142 is going ahead as planned. Last week the student councils of Cook and Orr schools met to discuss the name for the new school, the team mascot and the colors. They will not make the final decision, but will bring their recommendations back to their schools for the students to decide. Whether this decision will be put up for a vote by the entire Cook and Orr enrollment areas is not known.

In the meantime, the new south school, the South Ridge Panthers, is going up fast. Walls, footings, etc. are all up. It will be in operation for the start of the 2011 school year. 

Barring any expensive roadblocks by the "No" Group, the new St. Louis County North School could be in operation starting with the 2012 school year. For the 2011-2012 year, sports from the two schools will be merged into one, though.

No comments: