Closing door number two

McKinley Elementary holds closing open house

Ciara Parizek/MDN Ella Bachmeier, left, and Esmae Borsum, right, go down the bounce house slide on Friday during the McKinley Elementary School open house.

Current and former students alike gathered at McKinley Elementary School in Minot on Friday evening for an open house, celebrating the years spent within the school’s doors and sharing memories.

The Minot Public School Board made the decision earlier this year to close both Bell and McKinley Elementaries as a cost-savings measure to address a districtwide budget deficit, citing declining enrollments in both schools.

Steve Oster is a parent to two children who attended McKinley a number of years ago, and he is sad that the school is closing after so many years.

One of his best memories of the school is the close-knit schools and the relationships his children had with their teachers and the other staff members.

He thinks the first year after the school closes will be tough on current students, missing the friends they made and the teachers they connected with.

Ciara Parizek/MDN Clarissa Konrad, a second-grader at McKinley Elementary School, ate some pink cotton candy on Friday during the school’s open house.

“But kids are resilient and they’ll bounce back,” Oster said.

Another parent expressed sadness as her main emotion. Bonnie Rennich’s three children attended McKinley for their elementary years, living right across the street.

Living across the street from the school for 42 years, Rennich will no longer hear the children at play during recess or see them coming and going with the school bells.

“This is a place that raised our leaders,” Rennich said. “My kids had such a great experience here.”

Current student Clarissa Konrad is a second-grader at McKinley Elementary, and she also said she felt sad that she might not be going to the same school as her friends.

She said she will more than likely go to Our Redeemer’s Christian School or Roosevelt Elementary School this fall.

Former students and retired teachers mingled with current learners and educators, enjoying food from the food trucks and looking through old albums of photos and meeting minutes. A trailer was set up in the schoolyard for beverages.

“It’s unfortunate,” Oster said. “I mean, I understand that you have to do what you have to do for financial things. But, you know, this is a great school. It’s a sad day, but it’ll be okay.”


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