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Published January 24, 2012, 07:03 PM

GF Task Force Looks at Changing School Boundaries, Possible New School Construction

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - School officials are still looking at possibly adding a new school on the south end of Grand Forks, shifting school boundaries and finding a new location for Community High School.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - School officials are still looking at possibly adding a new school on the south end of Grand Forks, shifting school boundaries and finding a new location for Community High School.

The Grand Forks School Board held a public forum last night and hundreds of parents weighed in on a number of issues.

The Demographic Task Force is trying to balance out the number of students at each school, but is not recommending that any schools in town be closed.

Nikki Berg Burin is a mother of two and was very concerned when she heard Wilder Elementary might close.

"One of the things that makes Grand Forks special in the district is there are a lot of choices, there are smaller schools kids can go to, there are bigger ones," Berg Burin said.

Berg Burin was pretty happy after the Demographic Task Force recommended no school closures. Some parents are also happy with having the choice of what school their child attends.

"All of the evidence from the census records to birth records, to all the records the school has brought in as well as the anecdotal evidence shows that the north end and Riverside are growing," Berg Burin said.

"Certainly on the north end many of those schools will be at or near capacity in the next five years," assistant superintendent Jody Thompson said.

The Grand Forks School Board held a public forum to get input on several other issues including merging two schools at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, a new school on the southside and moving Community High School to a new location.

"I think it makes sense to build a school if we can afford it and if there's a need for it," Berg Burin said.

Some parents seemed worried about changes in school boundary lines.

"Those wouldn't be immediate impacts. The grandfather clause and district transfers would still be allowed. I think that took some of the pressure off for those parents thinking they'd have to make a change next year and that's certainly not the case," Thompson said.

More than 350 people attended the public forum to help weigh in on the final decisions of the Demographic Task Force.

"I mean we're talking about some long lasting impacts for our community with continuing to keep our schools open and the potential to build a new school," Thompson said.

The Task Force have been gathering opinion and perception data from the public which they will revue on February 1.

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