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Public meeting on middle school reuse plans set for March 21

Cloquet School District officials invite residents to come to a public meeting and presentation regarding the reuse proposal for the existing Cloquet Middle School at 6 p.m. Monday, March 21, in the middle school auditorium. There will be time for questions/suggestions from the audience following the presentation.

At the meeting, Sherman Associates will explain its proposal for adapting the old middle school into an apartment building once the new middle school is up and running.

Sherman Associates explained its proposal to the Cloquet School Board at the board’s Feb. 22 meeting.

Although the outside of the middle school — parts of which date from 1920 — won’t look terribly different, the classrooms inside could become as many as 73 apartments, ranging in size from studio to three-bedroom apartments. As proposed, the auditorium would stay. Depending on whether or not community partners could be found to manage them, the swimming pool, kitchen and gymnasium — or a combination of the three — could be torn down and made into indoor or outdoor parking for residents. Realistically, George Sherman, the principal owner of the property development company, said he doesn’t think they will find a partner for the pool, which would be expensive to maintain especially when the new middle school will have a bigger and better pool. But he didn’t want to take anything “off the table” before talking to the community, he said.

Sherman said the company has renovated 12 other schools, five of those in Duluth (Merrit, Irving, Jefferson, Lincoln and Nettleton schools).

Questions? Contact Bonnie Monfeldt at 218-879-6721, ext. 6204 or by email at bmonfeld@isd94.org.