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No decision on GFAFB school name

Air base School Board members couldn’t decide on a name for the consolidated Grand Forks Air Force Base school at a meeting Tuesday.

Superintendent Larry Nybladh attended the meeting and said after two failed motions, including one in favor of the faculty’s favorite name, the board told the school officials to survey parents and come back with a name recommendation at a special meeting in June.

Students at the Carl Ben Eielson Elementary School will consolidate into the Nathan F. Twining Elementary and Middle School at the beginning of next school year.

Board members were split over name suggestions that kept the Twining name or added it to the Eielson name.

Since the elementary school housed kindergarteners through third graders and the other school housed fourth grade through eighth, “there would be no displacement of any staff because of the consolidation,” Nybladh said. “Essentially, it’s taking the staff and moving them over.”

Documents that were presented at the meeting say Twining will get repaired throughout June and July with new paint, carpet and electrical work, including a sound system.

New staff will move in on Aug. 11 with middle school students in one wing and elementary students in another.

“The building is large enough and we have multiple doors and parking spaces so that we’ll be able to have good flow of that traffic,” Nybladh said.

He also said many teachers have been vocal about the many advantages of combining older and younger children into one building, especially when siblings are involved.

“From the educator’s point of view, it’s not seen as a negative,” Nybladh said.

The closure of Carl Ben Eielson means the base and Grand Forks School district, which share services, will save about $588,000, according to officials, but the amount of federal funding the schools receive could change that number.

The Grand Forks district had already identified several reductions to help eliminate the majority of its $1.3 million deficit, leaving about $501,000 to deal with.

Call Burleson at (701) 780-1114, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1114 or send email to

Anna Burleson

Anna Burleson is the higher education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of South Dakota's Mass Communication program and is originally from Watertown, S.D. Contact her with story ideas or tips by phone, email or Twitter, all of which are listed below. Examples of her work can be accessed here.

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