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Grand Forks school board could close 3 local elementary schools

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)—The future of three elementary schools in Grand Forks is up in the air after the school board unveiled options for its 'master plan' for the next few years.

Gloria Rocha has two kids who go to Wilder Elementary in Grand Forks.

“They love it. I mean, the teachers are great. The social workers are great here. They were there for me and my family when we moved to town and just worked with us so well,” said Rocha.

So for Gloria, the thought of the school closing its doors is frightening.

“It would be a big blow, because then we’d have to go way across town just to bring my kids to school and I don’t drive—I walk. So yeah, that would really really be bad on my family if they did close down the school,” said Rocha.

But it may become a reality. The future of Wilder Elementary, West Elementary, and Winship Elementary schools in Grand Forks are in jeopardy, after the School Board unveiled a few options for its 'master facilities' plan.

"One option would be to build a new elementary school, and close some of the schools on the North end,” said Meggen Sande of the Grand Forks School Board.

Other options include renovating and updating the aging elementary schools, or moving all elementary students into Valley Middle School and building a new middle school. It's not set in stone, but board members say a decision needs to come soon.

“When we have our long term goals for our facilities, then we can tackle our smaller projects and know that we're not putting money into something that down the road we're going to want to re-purpose or close down,” said Sande.

The district will hold a public forum on January 22, where parents, like Gloria, can voice their ideas and concerns about the plan.

"They care about my kids and it's a good school. We just love it,” said Rocha.

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