Between $200,000 and $300,000 needs to be raised before the nonprofit Modoc Academy can open its railroad school in Wallowa County.

Wallowa County commissioner Mike Hayward thinks the money is out there, just needs to be found. Hayward says that Modoc is seeking the funds from an educational perspective and the Wallowa/Union County Railroad Authority from an economic development perspective.

Though originally optimistic that the Academy could come to Wallowa County as early as this fall, Hayward now thinks that no movement will be seen until the spring of 2003.

Hayward went to Sacramento, Calif., to visit the Academy Aug. 20 and came away with the message that Modoc Academy is very interested in using the railroad line between Joseph and Elgin. Still, they do not wish to give up their existing school at Sacramento and need the additional moneys to make a school in Wallowa County economically viable within the first couple years.

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