Eveleth-Gilbert added to proposed school merger between Mt. Iron-Buhl and Virginia

By KBJR News 1

Eveleth-Gilbert added to proposed school merger between Mt. Iron-Buhl and Virginia

January 28, 2014 Updated Jan 28, 2014 at 1:03 PM CDT

Virginia, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- The proposal to merge two Iron Range school districts has added a few extra students to the plan.

Monday night, both the Virginia and Mountain Iron-Buhl school boards voted unanimously to welcome the Eveleth-Gilbert school district into their merger plan.

School leaders will also be holding a community-wide meeting Tuesday night at the Parkview Elementary School in Virginia starting at 6pm.

If it's built, the new school campus would go in adjacent to the Merritt Elementary School in Mountain Iron and would provide a dynamic learning environment for 1,000 students.

Early financial projections indicate the new campus could cost approximately $75 million. Funding would come from taconite tax revenues, with additional assistance from the state legislature.
School officials say the goal is to have no increase in local property taxes on area homeowners or businesses.

Board members say this is not a consolidation of school districts, but rather a co-location of the independent schools. In the new building, classes would be combined with students from both districts, giving a college campus feel, but sports teams and after- school extra-curricular activities would remain separate.

Another meeting will be held on Wednesday at the Merritt Elementary School in Mountain Iron starting at 6pm.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns
kburns@kbjr.com