Bemidji Area School Board Votes to Move Ahead With Closing, Reconfiguring Some Buildings
The Bemidji Area School Board voted unanimously to move forward with restructuring and altering the use of some of the district’s school buildings to maintain their budget.
The recommendations that were made included moving students from Central Elementary to other neighborhood schools, moving current Pre-K students at the Paul Bunyan Early Learning Center to K-3 neighborhood schools, and to vacate the current ISD 31 community education office building.
The board also held a listening session where community residents raised concerns that Central Elementary is placed in a neighborhood that caters to Native American students, Village of Hope students, and those who are most vulnerable.
The district can save anywhere between $400,000 to $465,000 in restructuring Central Elementary and about $170,000 for the Paul Bunyan Center.
While the board voted unanimously on this matter, the district will not vote to close the schools immediately. This decision isn’t final until the board votes in their March school board meeting after hearing community input.