BLOOMINGTON, Wis. — A former upper elementary school in Bloomington will receive new life as a processing and shipping center if a sale proceeds as anticipated.
After shuttering the campus in November 2017, the River Ridge School District relocated about 80 fifth- and sixth-grade students to its newly renovated school in Patch Grove, which now houses all grade levels.
The River Ridge School District in July accepted an offer from Prairie du Chien distribution company BoxLogix Automation for the building and 16 acres of adjoining land for a purchase price of $110,000.
“It should be a win-win for everybody in the area,” said River Ridge School Board President Kenny Nies.
He said the district accepted the company’s bid because it would have a positive impact on the community, including the possible influx of new students to the school district.
The company is co-owned by Bloomington native Cory Raisbeck and Cory Anderson. They intend to use the campus as a distribution center, also known as a third-party logistics provider.
“Third-party logistics providers take other people’s products and ship it to their customers,” Raisbeck said. “We will contract with some company and we will process their orders and ship their orders to their customers.”
The 38,000-square-foot building will require remodeling. Raisbeck expects to open in the spring. He is unsure how many people the business will employ.
“We know that the area has good help and people we can trust to take care of customers,” Raisbeck said.
Currently, the company employs 30 people at locations in Milwaukee, Prairie du Chien, Wis., Indianapolis, Ind., and Oelwein, Iowa.
Both parties are negotiating sale terms before a Dec. 1 closing deadline and the school board expects to finalize paperwork at its Aug. 14 meeting.
Possession will transfer after the conclusion of the 2019 football season, after which the school district will have no need for the athletic facilities currently at the site.
Village President Richard Udelhofen said he is excited to have the property back on the tax rolls.
“Like any of these small towns, you lose your school and you’ve lost a lot. The last issue was what to do with this current building,” he said. “Buildings like that can either become assets or white elephants. In this case, it appears it will become an asset to our community, and we’re looking forward to that.”