March 1, 2017 ~ With kids now going to the Red Creek Elementary school, the Black River Falls school board found itself with some extra space at Gebhardt Elementary.
Friends Sharing Food, a local group that helps distribute food to those that need it, has found themselves in need of space and a centralized location.
It was this confluence of needs and haves that led to the school board allowing some empty space to be utilized by Friends Sharing Food.
“They’ve really done so much to help the school before and have been incredibly generous,” school superintendent Shelly Severson said.
Right now, there are some alternative education classes housed in Gebhardt, but a large portion of the building goes unused.
Severson said the space they will be using wouldn’t affect any of the current programs running at Gebhardt, the only issue would come up if the district suddenly saw a massive spike in enrollment and needed the space, but that is unlikely.
The building would need some updating to be able to accommodate the Friends Sharing Food operation, most notably an upgrade to the electrical system since most elementary schools don’t have large freezers and refrigerators for food storage that they would need.
Other than that upgrade, Friends Sharing Food would then only be responsible to pay for the utilities and the school board would allow them to use the space rent free.
“We were definitely willing to do whatever we could to help them, so long as it was a cost-neutral agreement for us,” Severson said.
The building itself will remain within the district’s ownership, the current agreement is just essentially a two-year lease for the organization.
- Stephen Knoll email@example.com
- Jackson County Chronicle