Many Rivers Montessori School Makes Offer on Duluth Public School Properties

School Board decides to not waive from policy in selling former buildings to a K-12 education system.

Earlier this year, the Duluth School Board decided to stick with policy and not open up the process of selling the old Central site to Edison Charter Schools for $14.2 million.

Now the board has received other offers on different properties throughout the district.

The Many Rivers Montessori School has made offers on three properties and are hoping the bell hasn’t rung on the issue.

At 115 students, officials at Many Rivers Montessori School have said they’ve outgrown their current location.

“It’s been a really good startup home for the school but we’re already bursting at the seams,” said Mark Niedermier, Head of the Many Rivers Montessori School.

They have two locations. One is on London Road and the other is at Jefferson Square. The school which is in its third year has grown, so it has begun the process of looking at available locations. Some of those spots have been former Duluth Public School buildings.

“Everything is on the table at this point,” said Niedermier.

Many Rivers serves students as young as sixteen months to the eighth grade. They have made offers on the former Rockridge and Nettleton elementary schools and the former Secondary Technical School in the hopes that the Duluth School Board and administration might waive their policy.

“The board this year has reaffirmed a policy we’ve had in place for many years,” said Duluth School Board Chair Annie Harala.

Many Rivers said there have been a fixed percentage of students that attend schools like theirs.

“I think a healthy city, a healthy community has multiple choices,” said Niedermier.

Many Rivers hopes to grow to 200-300 students, but now they wait to find a future home.

“I really don’t see us as competitors but really as colleagues,” said Niedermier.

The school board said that they will continue to market the buildings to the best of their abilities.