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Crookston School District to explore options for old bus garage

Jess Bengtson
Crookston Times

    Crookston School District’s new bus garage will be ready to occupy in January and what the district will do with the existing structures is still on the table. Superintendent Jeremy Olson discussed options for the current bus garage buildings downtown with the School Board Monday and asked for recommendations, but will continue to explore costs for demolishing one of the buildings and potential sales opportunities.

    Olson relayed to the board that he has had discussions with interested parties, both local and outside of Crookston, about the current bus garage buildings and mentioned that under state law the board did have the ability to go into a closed session to discuss a potential sale of property.

    When looking at demolishing the most dilapidated building, which was described as being in “terrible shape”, costs came in around $60,000, said both Olson and Rick Niemela, Transportation Director. School board member Mike Theis offered his concern of the demolition cost more than once and thought they should check with their attorneys about what the district can do.

    “I think the wishes of the school board and, I think, the city, would be if it would go to a business expanding, a Crookston business,” Olson explained. “We want to make sure we leave the current bus garage in good condition and don’t repeat what others have done and leave empty buildings in Crookston.”

    School board member Patty Dillabough asked Niemela about the district’s storage needs and if the district might need to keep one of the current bus garage buildings, but Niemela said he wouldn’t know until they moved into the new bus garage. When it comes down to it, Niemela said, if he were to keep one of the three buildings, it would be the metal one as there were the least amount of issues with it.

    Olson said he would try to get more “puzzle pieces” together by their next meeting, but reminded the board they would have to follow Minnesota statute and award sale of the property, if they chose to go that route, by highest bidder and sealed bids.