Updated: 01/21/2014 10:52 PM
Created: 01/21/2014 3:12 PM WDIO.com
Virginia and Mt. Iron-Buhl share some things, like hockey teams. But other times, they are opponents, like on the basketball court.
And the strong desire to maintain and serve each community is the reason the "standard" solution of consolidation is off the table, according to the districts.
Both districts are facing the challenge of aging facilities. They've decided to join forces and look for funding together, for one new campus.
The potential location is next to the Merritt Elementary in Mt. Iron.
According to plans from the districts, no staff would be eliminated, and the two districts would keep separate school boards and superintendents. The students would go to classes together, but at 3:15 when the bell rings, they would go their separate ways for their extra-curriculars.
The superintendents spoke to us on Tuesday.
"To co-exist in one, state-of-the-art facility, but maintain our own sports teams, and keep our school songs. This would allow our students to have a world class education," according to Deron Stender, superintendent in Virginia.
John Klarich, superintendent in Mt. Iron, agrees. "We have a proud tradition at MIB. We like our independence. We are sound financially. But our facilities are aging."
Klarich said it could be a chance of a lifetime. He explained the potentially $75 million dollar venture is being sought from the legislature and taconite tax dollars.
The soonest the potential new school would be completed would be the fall of 2016.
Eveleth Gilbert is looking at joining these conversations. Their school board is having a special meeting about this on Thursday.
Two forums are coming up next week for the public to weigh on the co-located school.
1) Tuesday, January 28th, at Parkview in Virginia. 6pm
2) Wednesday, January 29th, at Merritt Elementary in Mt. Iron. 6pm
And for more detailed information: http://www.bettertogethermn.info
Schroeder's Iditarod Run Inspires Learning in the Northland
Northlander Nathan Schroeder and his sled dog team continued their grueling journey across the Iditarod course in Alaska this weekend. The race leader was expected to finish on Monday, but Schroeder was running in 25th place. Still, students in his home town are learning a lot by cheering him on.
Northland Teens Dance Against Cancer
Northland teens participated in the Eighth Annual Dancing Against Cancer Dance Showcase on Sunday. The event has raised over $15,000 for St. Jude's in the last seven years.
Shamrock Shufflers Pub Hop Along 2.8-Mile Run
The Duluth Running Company Shamrock Shuffle covered 2.8 miles and four pubs on Sunday. Participants weren't racing for a title, but for pints. The run ended at Dubh Linn Irish Pub with live outdoor music.
Angels for a Cause
A crowd gathered in Duluth on Sunday to make snow angels for a good cause. Profits from the event went to Lutheran Social Services to help them build the Center for Changing Lives, a new center for homeless youth in Duluth.
New York Folk Artist Visits Sacred Heart
New York-based folk singer-songwriter Lucy Kaplansky performed at Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth on Sunday.