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A-R eyes closing Ringsted building

By Staff | Mar 29, 2011

ARMSTRONG – The Armstrong-Ringsted Board of Education at its next meeting will discuss closing the Ringsted Elementary building over the next two years.

Superintendent Randy Collins broached the subject at the board’s regular meeting Monday night. He said Armstrong-Ringsted has the same facilties it did when it first consolidated into 700 students – and now there are 300. He said the district needs to consider going to one building.

“This is being proactive,” Collins said. “This is looking on down the road. We have to reduce the bricks and the mortar. The heating bill. The electric bill.”

Collins pegged the cost of running the Ringsted building at a minimum of $100,000 and possibly up to $200,000.

Board member Jen Von Bank, also addressing the issue, said closing the Ringsted building is not the answer to all the district’s problems.

“It doesn’t address he problem of long-term enrollment,” Von Bank said.

“Can we physically handle all the kids here?” asked board member Jim Boyer.

“Not today,” Collins said, adding that one solution could be a portable classroom.

District patron Brian Cronk said people in North Kossuth and Sentral school districts have questioned why they should consolidate if A-R has two buildings.

“We’re doing it because it’s the most effective, efficient way to use our resources,” Collins said, suggesting that students could be moved to Armstrong over two years. Collins’ suggestion would call for moving third and fourth grade next fall with preschool through second the following year.

He said the proposal has nothing to do with A-R’s proposed consolidation with North Kossuth and Sentral but rather that closing the Ringsted site is a necessary financial move.

Collins asks that district patrons interested in the proposal attend the April board meeting.