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Minot school district acquires 70 acres near Ramstad for $1

New land might be good site for second high school

The Minot Public School District has acquired 70 acres of property located south and east of Erik Ramstad Middle School for the nominal fee of $1.

The land, which board members and school officials speculated might one day be a good site for building a second high school if voters ever give approval for another bond issue, was owned by Northern Lights Idlewild, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company.

The Idlewild Third and Fourth Addition includes about four houses that were built on the property and were never sold. Business manager Scott Moum said those houses are in an extremely poor condition and will have to be torn down. The company has agreed to demolish the housing at its own expense as part of the purchase agreement. The buildings must be removed within 90 days following closing.

“This is too good to pass up on,” superintendent Mark Vollmer told the school board, adding that the district might never find as good an opportunity again. Vollmer said it would be extremely difficult to obtain that amount of property within the city limits without paying a sizable sum.

The agreement has been reviewed and approved by the district’s legal counsel. School district representatives also met with representatives from the city about the district’s future use of the land and were told there should be no hurdles regarding zoning requirements, traffic, fire or infrastructure.

Under the agreement, all special assessments have been paid by the seller through 2019 and any remaining specials will become the responsibility of the school district. The school district will develop a plan and be responsible for maintaining the property, such as making sure it is not overridden with nuisance weeds.

Jim Rostad, school board president, said the district is under no obligation to use the land for a particular purpose.

The land near the middle school would also be an ideal location for another high school, Moum said, but Vollmer suggested that high school students from the district’s career and technical education program might also build houses on the land that the district could later sell.

The district has been discussing the overcrowding problem at the middle and high school level and possible solutions. The school board has discussed asking voters to approve a bond issue to pay for new construction that would address those problems, but have said they recognize that it might be a hard sell.

They see the land acquisition as good future planning that will provide them with more options in the future.

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