THE FINAL DAY

Students leave Bismarck's Saxvik Elementary School on its final day last June.

Plans for Saxvik Elementary School are moving forward as a committee has decided to determine its market value and meet with interested parties in its sale.

On Thursday, a Bismarck School Board committee met to discuss details of selling Saxvik, which concluded its final school year last week and has drawn interest from as many as four parties, including Missouri Slope Areawide United Way.

The board previously decided to hold off any discussions on the future of Saxvik until the school year ended, Superintendent Tamara Uselman said Thursday.

Jena Gullo, executive director of MSA United Way, said the group is in the "exploration phase" in looking to purchase Saxvik.

The nonprofit is also surveying other buildings in the area, with the aim of creating a family resource center to connect children and families with services, whether that be after-school care, family programs or job training.

In recent years, United Way has been discussing how to better connect people in need with resources, Gullo said. United Way partners with other organizations and businesses to provide services to people in need.

“We’ve had a lot of success, but there’s still been a challenge in coordinating services for many families in need," she said.

For the past two years, United Way has worked with children at Saxvik through its adopt-a-classroom program, Gullo said.

“For the kids who are enrolled at Saxvik Elementary, 63 percent of those kids are living in poverty," she said.

In order to move forward, Gullo said United Way has asked Bismarck School Board to provide information on the terms and expenses of purchasing the building.

“We’re excited for the potential to do great things for the community. Whether that’s at Saxvik or in another location, that’s yet to be determined," Gullo said.

The Bismarck School Board committee decided Thursday to get Saxvik appraised, and then figure out if it’s better to sell or lease the building.

Uselman said she expects to provide an update to the full Bismarck School Board next month.

(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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