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Published August 12, 2013, 10:26 AM

Small North Dakota town of Marmarth plans big school project

MARMARTH, N.D. (AP) — The school board in the small southwestern North Dakota town of Marmarth has decided to spend nearly $1 million on a school addition.

MARMARTH, N.D. (AP) — The school board in the small southwestern North Dakota town of Marmarth has decided to spend nearly $1 million on a school addition.

School Board President Amber Battest acknowledged that the amount seems a bit much for a town of 136 people with 18 students.

"It does seem really hard to justify, but we're out of room and our population is growing," Battest told The Bismarck Tribune.

The state Department of Public Instruction has signed off on the project. The brick school built in the 1960s will get two classrooms, a bathroom accessible to the disabled and storage. The work is to be finished by fall 2014.

"This is a nice building and it's about to get nicer," Battest said.

Money for the project will come from the school's resources and a no-interest loan from the Slope County Commission that the school can pay back as it is able. The county will use money it gets from its share of federal oil and gas royalties on U.S. Forest Service land — money that is intended for schools, roads and public buildings, County Commissioner Mike Sonsalla said.

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