2016 high school prom looking for a home

Milaca prom adviser Colleen Bell sought the advice of the School Board regarding prom next school year. In 2015, prom was held in Stillwater, where students boarded a boat for luxury cruise down the scenic St. Croix River.

To keep the appeal of the Stillwater cruise, the prom committee decided that trip will take place every other year. For the alternate years, Bell said she would like to find a location closer to home to hold prom. Doing this would enable to school to support local businesses.

Northern Lights Ballroom and Banquet Center in Pease was discussed as a possibility. One shortfall: It is more expensive than sending the students to Stillwater. If prom were held in Pease, the cost per student attending would be $45, instead of $27 if the students were to travel to Stillwater. Bell has been asked by parents and other members of the community about why Prom is not held locally to support surrounding businesses.

“With that kind of price difference, that’s why you don’t,” said Jeff Larson, board chair.

Another issue with holding the 2016 prom in Pease is the high cost of transporting the students to and from the high school. Bus rental cost a flat rate of around $4,000 to send the kids to Stillwater this year for a distance of about 160 miles round trip. The cost would be the same to travel 8.4 miles total round trip to the Northern Lights Ballroom.

When another staff requested letting the kids drive to and from prom in their own vehicles, Bell responded by saying, “Once students are with us, they need to stay with us.” Board members agreed with Bell.

Northern Lights Ballroom and Banquet Center is already booking up through May 2016. Even so, the board suggested Bell and the rest of the prom committee wait for the feedback of the new junior students next year before making a decision on a location. All board members expressed their confidence in Bell’s ability to come up with a solution.