The Brainerd School District's Building Committee took its first step Thursday on what to do with Franklin Junior High School on Kingwood Street in Brainerd.
The school, which was built in 1932, will be closed to students once the new middle school in Baxter opens in the 2004-05 school year.
The committee intends to recommend the school board form a seven-member task force to look at future use of school building and property.
Brainerd Superintendent Jerry Walseth said the task force would include two members of the school district's building committee, Robert Nystrom and Randy Klinger; Paul Bloom, Brainerd Community Education director; Doug Grout, the director of the Brainerd Housing Redevelopment Authority; a Brainerd city council member; and two members from the community, including at least one parent.
Walseth said the task force will explore possibilities and recommend two or more options for the site to the school board's building committee by June 2003.
"We are already behind," said Walseth. "We want this timeline so the building will not sit empty."
The task force will study key issues related to the future of the site; seek citizen input; provide information; set up a timeline and a process; and review and provide cost benefit analysis of recommendations.
School Board Chair Ruth Gmeinder said, after the committee meeting, that the committee does not have any preconceived ideas on what should happen to Franklin.
"We want to do what's best for the community," she said. "That is why we want input."
Residents also can provide input at three community meetings planned this summer, Gmeinder said. She said input will be sought on the school's building projects as well.
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