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Land Board Grants $5 Million to Schools in Oil Country

Press Release

Location: Bismarck, ND

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and other members of the state Board of University and School Lands unanimously voted today to provide an additional $2 million in matching grants to five school districts in North Dakota's Oil Patch. With the funding, the schools will purchase or lease portable classrooms to help meet their growing student enrollments.

On March 29, the state Land Board awarded a matching grant of $3 million to Williston Public School District #1, also for the purchase or lease of portable classrooms.

"These school districts are experiencing rapid growth and the local funding sources haven't caught up to the needs," Dalrymple said. "The Energy Impact Grant program allows us to adapt to the changing circumstances that are part of rapid growth and in this case, help our schools add the classroom space they need for fall enrollments while they continue their long-term planning."

Dalrymple is chairman of the five-member state Land Board. Other board members are Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Superintendent of Public Instruction Wayne Sanstead and state Treasurer Kelly Schmidt.

The Energy Impact grants cover 80 percent of costs, with 20 percent required from eligible school districts. The maximum allowable cost for portable classrooms is $150,000. Grants can be used to help pay leases for portable classrooms for the 2012-2013 school year, or the first year of a lease-to-purchase agreement. Other allowable expenses include necessary classroom equipment, infrastructure costs including land preparation, electricity, sewer, water and the costs of architectural and construction design.

School districts awarded state grants for portable classrooms are:

Williston Public School District #1 - $3 million
South Heart Public School District - $240,000
New Williston Public School District #8 - $1.35 million
Tioga Public School District - $300,000
Powers Lake Public School District - $80,000
McKenzie County Public School District #1 - $27,000

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