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Rybergs donate property to school district

125 N. 3rd St. will be part of the new CTE Center in New Ulm.

NEW ULM — New Ulm Public Schools announced the donation of the property located at 208 N. Valley St. to District 88 as a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center.

The property was donated by the current owners, Carol and Roger Ryberg and daughter Susan. The District 88 School Board officially approved a resolution Thursday to contract for deed purchase of the property, but Superintendent Jeff Bertrang said this was actually a donated facility. The approval of the resolution will allow the deed to be recorded and the property transferred to the school.

The CTE Center will provide high school students with exposure and access to the many careers available in the region allowing them to earn credentials / certifications before leaving high school. The CTE Center will also provide adults a location to recertify, retrain or gain the technical skills necessary to pursue a new trade or technical career.

“New Ulm Public Schools is dedicated to providing our students with opportunities that prepare them for future careers,” Bertrang said. “The CTE Center will provide our students with technical skills and certifications for future jobs in the New Ulm area, helping to maintain and grow our workforce. We can’t say enough about the great community support to make the CTE Center a reality. We really appreciate the generous gift of a building from the Rybergs and the generous donation from Windings of office and classroom furniture.”

The property, owned by the Rybergs since 1983, had been occupied by local manufacturing company Windings, Inc., since 1965. Windings completed consolidation of their New Ulm manufacturing operations into their new facility at 15 Somsen St. in New Ulm in 2018, freeing the North Valley Street property for another use. With Windings vacating the property, the Rybergs saw an opportunity to give back to the community.

“Our little plant on Valley Street (across from the coal pile) served well in the incubation stages of Windings, Inc.,” Roger Ryberg said in a press release. “Over the years the company has grown to a significant employee-owned contributor to New Ulm’s economy. It’s exciting to think of this property incubating a CTE, providing education for practical careers for generations of New Ulm’s finest. New Ulm has been good to us, we’re happy to be reinvesting in New Ulm.”

Windings, Inc., also contributed to the CTE Center project by donating furnishings used in the facility to the school district.

In the release, Windings’ CEO Heather Braimbridge-Cox said, “Windings’ purpose is to help customers succeed, employees thrive, and communities prosper. As an employee-owned company we are tightly engrained in the New Ulm community and have a vested stake in its success. We are grateful for the opportunity to support a local project that will have a significant positive impact not only for the residents of New Ulm, but for those in the surrounding region as well.”

The property donation contains five land parcels. The main campus for the CTE Center is on 208 N. Valley St., adjacent to Firmenich, but the campus also includes the property at 125 N. 3rd St.

The school district expects to take ownership of the property this winter. Course registration is estimated to begin this spring with first classes starting in fall. Planned programs include offering programs in welding, manufacturing/fabrication, small gas engines, automotive (autobody and mechanic), mechatronics/engineering and business development. The district hopes to graduate 20 to 35 students with industry certifications and provide retraining to 15 to 25 adults per year.

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