Duluth: Five Schools in Process of Closure, Five New and Improved Schools Prepare for Students

By KBJR News 1

May 2, 2011 Updated May 2, 2011 at 9:55 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - Duluth students have more than just the end of the school year to look forward to.

Next September, five new and improved schools will open around the city.

It's out with the old, and in with the new.

"They're modern, state-of the-art, technology is involved, and they're really going to be more comfortable. It will allow us to offer our programming even better than before," said assistant superintendent Bill Gronseth.

This week, school-closing hearings are happening at five schools, part of the official procedure to close them down for good.

One lone speaker came to the MacArthur's hearing.

"The whole community for four years, what we're doing, which I like because I was part of so many of those other schools were being closed and it was turmoil," said school board member Judy Seliga Punyko.

Next Fall, Laura MacArthur, Lester Park, Piedmont, Denfeld and the new East school will all open their doors.

"We're just really looking forward to being able to let the community in and see everything that's been going on," said Gronseth.

Administration hopes the modern buildings and stability will bring more students back to the district.

"Obviously we've been going through a transition phase, as we've closed buildings and build new buildings. We've already seen some families coming back," said Gronseth.

The incoming superintendent said despite some controversy, he thinks Duluthians will be proud.

"When those schools open up and the word comes out, people are going to walking around with their chest out, 'Yeah, Duluth schools, we got it going on.' People are going to get excited about the good things that are happening."

New facilities putting a fresh face on public schools

Administration says the Long Range Facilities Plan puts all students into more efficient, modern facilities by 2013.

Students and parents will be able to tour the five newest schools sometime in late-summer.

Because many of the new schools are directly across the street from the old ones, some of the old schools, like MacArthur, will be demolished and the land redeveloped into green space, parking or extracurricular spaces.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike