A private Christian academy in White Bear Lake appears to be buying the old Withrow Elementary School from Hugo.
The Stillwater School Board last week approved a purchase contract for the school.
The terms provide for the sale of the building to 10158, LLC, for $ 1.4 million. The registered agent of the newly formed company, Rebekah Hagstrom, is the principal of Liberty Classical Academy in White Bear Lake.
Hagstrom declined to comment on the possible sale. School district and board chairperson Bev Petrie also declined to comment.
The sale should not be finalized for 60 days.
Liberty is a private coeducational classical school serving approximately 250 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. According to the school’s website and Facebook page, the academy was founded in 2003 and “balances demanding academics and a Christian worldview.” Tuition fees range from $ 8,220 for kindergarten to $ 12,970 for high school.
The Withrow building has remained empty since the Stillwater neighborhood closed it in 2017 as part of a controversial consolidation.
Hugo Town Administrator Bryan Bear said town officials would be happy to see the building become a school again. A developer in 2019 proposed to turn the school into a veteran’s accommodation, but the school is not zoned for housing and has no city water or sewerage.
“That would be a good resolution for this site,” Bear said. “It’s been a school, the community expects it to be a school, and it would be great if it were to continue to be a school. The devil is in the details. We would need to see what their plans might be, but they would certainly be allowed to open a school there. “
Withrow was one of three elementary schools that the Stillwater School Board voted in March 2016 to close. After the Withrow, Oak Park and Marine elementary schools closed, parents protested, lawsuits were filed, and board incumbents were challenged in the election.
The Oak Park building is now used for administrative purposes.
The town of Marine in St. Croix purchased the old Marine Elementary building for $ 950,000 and leases it to the Marine Village School, a K-5 charter school that was approved in September by the Department of Minnesota Education. It is slated to open next fall with up to 150 students, said Win Miller, chairman of the board.
“The community feels it’s important to have a school in Marine, as we’ve had one for over 160 years,” Miller said. “The school is a resource for the community, and the community is a resource for the school.