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Mila Koumpilova, Published August 12 2009

Fargo alternative high school to move

The Fargo School District is gearing up to relocate its alternative program and sell its current home, Woodrow Wilson Community High School.

Starting in fall 2011, the alternative school will move to Agassiz School, which now houses south Fargo ninth-graders. At that point, those students will transfer to the new Davies High School and Fargo South.

The School Board on Tuesday directed the district to pursue the relocation.

“We’re not closing Woodrow Wilson,” said Superintendent Rick Buresh, looking to dispel rumors that the district is eliminating the alternative program. “Woodrow Wilson will continue to operate. They’re just moving to a new location.”

Woodrow, which was once an elementary school, is a less-than-ideal high school facility, said Dan Huffman, assistant superintendent for business services. It doesn’t have a gym, arts spaces or a science lab. Woodrow staff members are excited about the move, board members on the district planning committee reported.

“The Agassiz facility is a much better fit for the program we want to provide,” Huffman said.

Huffman said several potential buyers have already inquired about Woodrow, their interest likely inspired by the expansion of North Dakota State University’s downtown campus and the need for additional student housing.

The school, at 315 N. University Drive, is on track to become part of Fargo’s Renaissance Zone, which will provide additional incentives to buyers. Board member Jim Johnson said he hopes the district can find a buyer interested in preserving the school’s historic building, which dates back to the 1910s.

The district also envisions a new professional development center and continued use of gyms and locker rooms for sub-varsity activities at Agassiz, also known as South Campus II.

In other business, the board approved contractors for dike and parking lot repair at Centennial and Bennett elementary schools and Discovery Middle School. Those included $278,000 in parking lot repairs at Centennial, which suffered the most damage during flood fight efforts this spring.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mila Koumpilova at (701) 241-5529