Palisade may take over old annex for school

Palisade’s former library building at 711 Iowa Ave. and a garage behind it may become the town’s next fire station.

Renovations to turn the building into a fire station may begin as soon as next spring. Interim Town Administrator Richard Sales said the town would save about $2 million by renovating the library branch and a storage and garage area behind it rather than building a new station. He estimated renovations will cost $1 million to $1.3 million.

“Remodeling brings it into a cost range we could afford,” he said.

Sales has asked School District 51 to transfer ownership of the library, garage and Valley School East, all located in an annex to the old Palisade High School, to the town of Palisade so it can start on the project. The district currently leases the old Palisade High School at no cost to the Town of Palisade and did not make money leasing the annex to the now-departed library or the school, which closed this spring. The district could save approximately $15,000 a year in utility costs if it gives the town ownership of the annex, according to Sales.

The town’s request will likely be granted this month or next month, according to District 51 School Board member Greg Mikolai. First, he said the board needs to decide whether to give the Valley building away now or hold onto it for a few more months. A few items from the school are still in the building, including a truck used for snow and ice removal.

“Where I’m leaning and I think the board too is we’re going to vacate the lease as opposed to doing a weird piecemeal thing. It’s cleaner for the district and it’s cleaner for the town,” Mikolai said.


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