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Killdeer school board OK's request to find rental property for teachers

KILLDEER -- The Killdeer Public School Board gave Superintendent George Wilz the authority to secure a rental property for no more than $800 per month for staff housing.

Wilz approached the board about the need for housing during a Wednesday meeting at the board office.

"I know that we've had some applicants who have sent in a letter of interest and other materials, but then they stop or have to back out and I believe it has a lot to do with housing," he said. "We are against the wall here if we're going to be able to find teachers who are willing to come here and fill positions before the start of the school year."

Positions needing filled at Killdeer schools include a science teacher, guidance counselor, agriculture education instructor, K-6 special education teacher, business and physical education teacher, an elementary teacher, classroom paraprofessionals positions and bus route drivers.

The board tossed around ideas about placing a triplex on the tennis court slab on school grounds that could be used to house teachers filling positions next school year. The triplexes are generally 1,100 square feet with two bedrooms per unit, said board member Carolyn Benz.

Board member Shelly Lenz suggested the district look into whether it would be possible to build apartments onto the upper floors of the school building, or seeing if there is any interest in community members housing teachers in their homes or rental properties.

Board member Lisa Guenther also suggested the school district look into what it would cost to purchase a home that could be renovated to house two or three teachers, which Wilz said Williston school district has done with success.

"But I never would have dreamed that there would be a day that school would have to be in the housing business," Wilz said.

He said the district has about $450,000 in special funds that could be put toward housing.