Future of school at stake [UPDATED]Published 3:57am Monday, May 20, 2013 Updated 6:03am Monday, May 20, 2013
We congratulate residents of the Rothsay School District for passing a $19 million referendum to construct a new school.
While it certainly wasn’t outwardly mentioned, clearly, residents understood that the future of the school, and the community, was at stake.
With a four-grade high school enrollment of 59 (based on the State High School League web site), in a community with a population of 493 (based on the 2010 Census), Rothsay is among the smallest independent schools in Minnesota.
Most other districts Rothsay’s size have either merged with others, or simply closed, requiring students to attend nearby schools. With its proximity to Fergus Falls, Barnesville and Pelican Rapids, Rothsay residents certainly had such options.
Clearly, however, many small communities that have made such moves — and then watched the general store, post office, restaurant, newspaper and other amenities go away in the process — have suffered death or near death.
In deciding to build a new school to replace its century-old facility, and accepting the higher property taxes that come with it, Rothsay residents decided to keep its community alive.
It is the hope that the new facility, in a central location along Interstate 94, will bring new students, and new educational, and lucrative, opportunities for Rothsay.
To the proud residents of Rothsay, keeping a community alive was clearly worth the price.