Staples-Motley School District Begins Process to Close Motley Facility – Wadena Pioneer Journal

STAPLES – The Staples-Motley School Board, at its board meeting on March 21, took steps to set the date for the public hearing for the closure of the Motley building.
That meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Monday, April 11, at the district office, according to a school district news release.
The Motley facility last hosted middle school students in 2019. Early education and a child care program were housed there until July 2021. In fall 2021, all school programs were transferred on the Staples campus.

“There are four reasons that got us to this point,” Staples-Motley Superintendent Shane Tappe said. “Budgetary/financial, long-term facility planning, deferred building maintenance, and educational experience challenges.

Deferred maintenance costs at the time of the referendum were over $9 million. It is estimated that this has increased considerably. The district expects to save significant dollars in annual operating costs (minimum heating and utilities) if the council goes ahead with closing and selling the building.

Tappe said the district attorney described the process of closing the building as follows:

  1. Discussion between the administrative staff and the experts of the establishment.
  2. Discussion within the council, which then schedules a public hearing
  3. Publish the notice of public hearing in the district newspaper (Staples World) two weeks before the hearing date
  4. Public hearing on April 11, followed by a board meeting at which a resolution would be implemented to close the Motley Building.

The district has completed steps one and two of the process described above, with the third step being the public notice published in Staples World, the school district’s official newspaper.
“There is interest in buying the Motley building.” Tappe said: ‘We have worked closely with our legal counsel to ensure that we follow the correct process for closing the building before considering the sale of the building.

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