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BHK to close Little Red Schoolhouse

November 28, 2012
By SCOTT VIAU - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - The latest in the cuts to the financially strapped Baraga Houghton Keweenaw Child Development program is the Little Red Schoolhouse on Sharon Avenue in Houghton. The cut, approved by the parent council, was announced Tuesday at the regular BHK board meeting.

The closure is effective Dec. 21.

All but six children have been placed in other schools, said BHK Executive Director Pat Rozich. Those children are currently on a waiting list.

Article Photos

Scott Viau/Daily Mining Gazette
Due to financial reasons, the BHK-run Little Red Schoolhouse on Sharon Avenue in Houghton will be closing on Dec. 21, it was announced at a meeting Tuesday.

"Some of them turned down the opportunity to be placed because it was not convenient," Rozich said.

The Little Red Schoolhouse was also the home of the Chinese language program.

An update on the property that BHK owns and is looking to sell was given by BHK Associate Executive Director Bill Polkinghorne, who said the L'Anse Wellness Center and the Moyer Clinic are currently in the process of being appraised. An initial appraisal has already been done, but a second one is forthcoming.

"The Moyer Clinic was appraised at $360,000 and the L'Anse Wellness Center was appraised at $60,000," Polkinghorne said.

There is also an area of land near the Little Red Schoolhouse that will be appraised.

"Selling it is really the only viable alternative," Polkinghorne said. "That's valuable property."

Rozich also gave a report on what's been going on over the past few weeks.

"We're making progress. We're looking forward to getting much more to (the board) in the next several months," he said.

However, board member Colleen Vallad-Hix said she was looking for more specificity about how BHK has been operating.

"I need to hear something more concrete," Vallad-Hix said. "Have you found more places where we can trim the fat? Your report was pretty nebulous and I'm not going to accept nebulosity anymore."

Rozich then went into more detail regarding the operations of BHK over the past few weeks.

"Phase one is practically completed," Rozich said. "We've met a great deal with the head start unit the first two weeks of my being here. We've come to a lot of conclusions there with compliance and looking at staffing."

Polkinghorne added they were able to stop BHK from bleeding out financially.

Financial Director Chip Law also gave a report on the financials, saying there were some areas of concern.

"If you see a negative number in unexpended (category), that means we've over expended."

Law added that seeing the effect of the recent cuts will take time. He also said the numbers weren't final and they were unaudited.



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