Legislation would give cities 1st right to buy school buildings
Two local legislators say that when a school district decides to “close and dispose of a schoolhouse or site,” the city where the school is located should have the right to purchase the property.
A bill authored by Rep. Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake, would give cities that right. Its companion in the state Senate was authored by Sen. Karin Housley, R-St. Mary’s Point, and Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes.
“It came to me from some of the parents in our district,” Housley said. “And there are parents in other districts also that this has been an issue with, that don’t want their schoolhouse to die, even if they have moved the school district out of the building — they just want to make sure that the building can stay within the community.”
The legislation has special relevance to the St. Croix Valley at a time when the Stillwater Area School District plans to close Oak Park, Marine and Withrow elementary schools later this year.