USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer today toured the recently renovated building now housing Minnesota New Country School (MNCS) Elementary with local, state, and national officials.
“The preservation of historical buildings not only preserves the unique culture of the surrounding community, but also cuts down on costs for new infrastructure,” said Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development State Director. “Projects like these play a key role in the economic sustainability of rural communities – attracting new businesses, retaining population and providing opportunities for future growth.”
In 1998, MNCS opened for grades 6-12 with the help of a USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Business and Industry (B&I) Loan. In 2013, an LLC was formed by local Henderson residents in order to renovate an old local building into a facility that MNCS could rent to house their Elementary school for grades K-5.
Using a $764,000 loan, the LLC was able to make necessary renovations to get the building – originally built in 1900 – ready for lease to MNCS Elementary and provide a safe, permanent learning environment for the students in grades K-5. As a result, MNCS Elementary was able to hire ten additional faculty and staff, creating job opportunities well into the future. Additional funding to finance the total project cost of $994,500 was contributed by the LLC.
Rural Development also invests in housing, water and wastewater treatment, community facilities, renewable energy and broadband and has invested nearly $5.8 billion in rural communities throughout Minnesota since 2009.