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People in Middle River hope to give abandoned school new life

MIDDLE RIVER, MN--A small town school sits empty because there weren't enough kids to fill it. But people in Middle River are hoping to give it new life--all thanks to a little girl's piggy bank. It's the first year school hasn't been in session ...

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MIDDLE RIVER, MN--A small town school sits empty because there weren't enough kids to fill it.  

 

But people in Middle River are hoping to give it new life--all thanks to a little girl's piggy bank.

 

It's the first year school hasn't been in session in decades.

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"Believe it or not when I was in high school this was our English room and there were 32 of us in here. And we did ok."

 

But the Greenbush Middle River School may have a different use after the city agreed to buy the building from the district for a buck.

 

"I think there's a lot to be said about the fact that they feel as tax payers that they paid for this building once,” said City Councilmember, Josh Veselka.

 

At a recent meeting, Josh Veselka's 6-year-old daughter surprised him.

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"All of a sudden my daughter Nora walks up and hands Mayor Stromsodt a dollar and says here's for the city to purchase the building. So I guess she got to be part of that and that's pretty influential,” said Josh Veselka.

 

A small donation--with a big impact.

 

"The city totally could have wrote a check. It was just kind of a cute situation that she came up there with it. It made a lot of people go ooh that's pretty neat."

 

Veselka is one of a few people in town hoping to form a board to manage the school building.

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They're hoping to bring some businesses into the massive space.

 

"I know there's been some other ideas possibly like a latch key program, possibly renting out some areas for field classes, whatever."

 

Yoga classes, daycares and afterschool programs are just a few of their ideas.

 

But it’s a pricey dream.

 

It will cost about 25 thousand dollars a year to keep the building up to date until its filled.

But the dollar bill from the girl is an inspirational start.

 

Veselka says there’s a lot history in the building.  

 

“Lots. From a lot of local people too. And they will come forward too. I know they will."

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