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Old high school up for grabs soon


With the old Fort Frances High School on First Street East now closed, and much of its equipment and furnishings already moved out to the “multi-use” facility at Westfort, it may not be long before new ventures pop up at the centrally-located property.

“It’s been declared surplus and it’s been offered to the appropriate organizations,” Warren Hoshizaki, director of education for the Rainy River District School Board, noted yesterday morning.

Such organizations include the Northwest Catholic District School Board, Le Conseil Scolaire de District Catholique des Aurores Boreales, and the Town of Fort Frances.

The public school board wrote letters to the various parties in early June, and is now sitting out the 90-day waiting period to hear replies.

“We received letter from the board of education informing us about it and should it become available, we will consider our options,” Fort Frances Mayor Glenn Witherspoon said.

“The key is market value, which we have agreed to meet upon should the situation arise,” he added.

The mayor also said the town has heard of some interest in the building. “From what we’ve heard, there are things that could happen there,” he noted.

In the meantime, summer students, custodians, and some high school staff have been helping move equipment, files, and other items to Westfort.

Furniture not being moved to the new facility includes some of the older desks, as well as some tech shop equipment.

“There’s a proper process to get rid of those items,” noted Hoshizaki. “It’s something we have to follow but it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Meanwhile, the office at the new school is now open to the public. Semester II reports cards still to be picked up can be claimed there, which should be accessed by the double-door entrance on the east side of the building.

But the rest of the building remains closed off as minor renovations, and much moving by high school caretakers, will be underway for much of the summer.

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