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Ringsted School an asset, not a liability

September 25, 2012
Estherville Daily News

For some reason, Armstrong-Ringsted School District seems to think the former Ringsted School is a hot potato - and the City of Ringsted seems afraid to catch it.

We're quite puzzled by the attitudes of both boards, actually.

If the building were in decrepit condition, that would be one thing. But it's not. It has an excellent kitchen area that would make a fine cafe that the Ringsted community would gladly patronize. And it has a number of classrooms that could be easily adapted to assisted living. The gymnasium area would be a great community center or possibly a banquet hall for weddings or community dances.

At the Emmet County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday in Ringsted, county engineer Roger Patocka estimated a cost of $100,000 to add two bays to the north side of the Armstrong shop.

At the same time, the A-R Board of Education among its options has discussed demolishing the Ringsted School which incidentally has that eight-bay bus barn on the property.

When it was suggested that the bus barn at the school might make a good shop, Roger Patocka and other secondary roads officials went to look at it.

Sure, A-R could spend the money to demolish the Ringsted School and the county could spend $100,000 to add space to a county shop when there's an eight-bay bus barn sitting just a few miles away.

But would that be a judicious use of taxpayer money? The $100,000 it would cost to add the two bays in Armstrong would probably pay to heat the school for eight years. And that's just one benefit of keeping the school as it is.

Are there any taxpayers out there who would like to put their two cents worth in on this? Oh, let's correct that figure. Make it $200,000. Because that's likely the amount, at a minimum, our local governments could save our local taxpayers by pooling their resources instead of tearing down and building new.



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