St. Louis County to close 4 rural schools, build 2by Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Voters in northern Minnesota have narrowly approved a $78 million construction plan for the St. Louis County school district, including closing four aging schools and building two new ones.
The plan passed by fewer than 300 votes out of 12,000 cast. Leaders said restructuring would keep the district solvent by addressing excess building capacity. Schools in the towns of Cook, Orr, Cotton and AlBrook will close and be replaced with two new buildings.
Read more about the school district's new plan.
The plan drew emotional responses throughout St. Louis County - the results reflect how differently the plan was viewed, depending on where you voted.
There was wide support at the three polling places in southern St. Louis County, as well as in the town of Babbitt, but Cook, Orr and Tower overwhelmingly voted 'no' -- the Tower school will lose its high school under the plan.
Officials plan to open the new schools in two years.
Final vote: 3279-3031. (52% - 48%)
% of 'yes' votes in each community:
Cotton - 75%
Cherry - 79%
Babbitt-Embarrass - 70%
AlBrook - 77%
Orr - 34%
Cook - 33%
Tower - 12%