Uncertain Fate for Two Eveleth Buildings

School Board to Hold Public Meeting On Issue Thursday

The Eveleth-Gilbert School District said that two century-old buildings are costing them nearly a million dollars to keep open. Some in the community don’t want this history lesson closed.

The school board and district are considering closing two buildings and possibly demolishing them both. The Manual Arts building is on the National Register of Historic Places while the other is a source of childcare for the Iron Range.

.Josie and Abby Fruetel have gone to the Chicagami Child Center since they were six weeks old. “They know these people really well and they’re kind of like a second family to them,” said their mom Emily Fruetel.

But the childcare center housed in the Former Eveleth Junior High is in talks to be torn down because of the cost of upkeep for an aging building.

“If this place closes I have nowhere else to go,” said Fruetel.

An evaluation done for the district said the school has excess space of sixty-three percent. The Manual Arts building sits vacant and the childcare center is the only thing left in the junior high.

“There’s nowhere for these children to go,” said Chicagami executive director Carol Moreland.

Chicagami serves sixty-four families and ninety-four children. They have until June if the city decides to close the doors on the center.

“There’s people that will need to quit their jobs,” said Moreland.

Many of the other daycare facilities in the area have no openings or have waiting lists of up to two years.

“It’s a childcare crisis right now,” said Moreland.

The Eveleth-Gilbert school district will hold a public meeting on the two buildings on March 3rd at 5 p.m. in the high school auditorium

Chicagami has been in talks with the city about a new location, but no option has been found yet.

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