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Sullivan finalizes break from Monadnock School District

SULLIVAN — A unanimous Sullivan School District vote allowing the town to borrow money to buy back an elementary school finalized the break from the Monadnock Regional School District Wednesday.

The one ballot question that required two-thirds of the vote got 100 percent of the 40 votes cast, approving the town to borrow $185,000 to buy back the land and buildings of the Sullivan Central School. Sullivan also has to pay for improvements made to the school over the past 50 years.

The building is now on the market for $185,000, said Sullivan School District Chairwoman Stephanie Jacques Kleine.

The Sullivan school building could be used as a private school, for warehouse space, office space, industrial use or even residential use, Kleine said.

The school was used for about 20 first- and second-graders from Sullivan and Gilsum.

Sullivan kindergarten students and students in grades 3-6 attended school in Gilsum. Older students had attended Monadnock Middle and High School in Swanzey.

Last November a district-wide vote gave Sullivan permission to leave the Monadnock Regional School District at the end of the 2012-13 school year. That was followed by a spring vote to leave SAU 93.

“It takes a lot of buy-in and we had an incredible turnout,” Kleine said.

The withdrawal put the newly-formed Sullivan School District in the advantageous position of being courted by the elementary schools in Harrisville and Nelson, both great schools, she said.

“We did a study a couple of years ago and we decided that it wasn’t feasible for us to run our own school,” Nelson said.

In the end the Sullivan School District chose Nelson for its elementary students. Middle and high school students will be tuitioned to Keene School District schools, Kleine said.

The town of about 600 has 80 students.

“We’re asking to be in the Keene School District or a Keene sending town,” Kleine said.

Surry went through a withdrawal from Monadnock five years ago and now sends its students to Keene, Kleine said.

Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Richmond, Roxbury, Swanzey and Troy remain in the Monadnock Regional School District.

Like Surry, Sullivan is closer to the Keene schools, Kleine said.

As a local real estate agent, Kleine said she saw Surry home sales jump after it started sending its students to Keene schools, she said.

“We’re a great little town and we’re right by Keene and we were jumping over Keene to get to Monadnock,” Kleine said.

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