ST. CLOUD – Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout that followed thwarted the city’s plans to move the city hall to the old technical high school.
But if all goes according to plan, the building could be renovated and the staff would move in by the time the building turns 105 next January.
The Saint-Cloud city council is expected to take action on Monday to approve the city’s candidacy to be able to renovate part of the school, which has remained vacant since the Saint-Cloud school district left the city. site in 2019.
The plans call for the demolition of the entire western university building and associated airways and tunnels, which are not part of the historic building sections of 1917 and 1938. The historic sections, at the southern end of the site, will be renovated for urban use.
“A year ago the offers were very favorable. We even extended them, not knowing at the time how long the (pandemic) would last. At first nobody did, ”said Mayor Dave Kleis. “So we put the project on hold and now we are going out for new offers.”
If bids come back favorably for the planned $ 9 million project, the city will demolish the 1955 and 1975 additions, which include the gymnasium.
“If it works within budget parameters, we can do it,” Kleis said. “Otherwise, it will remain standing but will not be used until further development can go into it. Ideally, if we could take it apart and use it for future development, that would be an expense that won’t be there in the future. ”
Kleis said a development just north of the historic buildings would likely be a private development, but the site could also remain a green space.
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The board will likely see the offers in early March. As soon as the bids are approved, the city will enter into the purchase contract with the school district, which includes the transfer of ownership for $ 1.
This agreement was reached in January 2018 after the school board determined that the district did not have the same redevelopment tools as the city.
The city initially wooed private developers to turn the historic building into housing, but Plymouth-based Dominium later backed down because the projected redevelopment costs were too high. Kleis announced his intention to move the town hall to site end of 2019.
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The letter of intent to transfer ownership does not include the Clark Field property. There is a tentative agreement in place with the Friends of Clark Field to keep the old football field as green space.
Once the transfer is complete, the city can begin marketing the land for sale along Minnesota’s Highway 23 – property the school district used for its media services building – for business development.
Maintain “ historical integrity ”
The 104-year-old brick building features terracotta panels and local granite. Down a sloping hill on its eastern side is Eastman Park and Lake George.
From its opening in 1917 until 2019, Tech produces more than 32,000 graduates.
“We want to maintain historic integrity,” Kleis said, noting that the design plans don’t alter the interior too much. “Some of the lockers will still be in the hallways. It will give it that historic look – that it was a high school.
The plans show redeveloped spaces on the first and second floors, with the third being used for storage. The board room will be in Tech The former library space and auditorium will be used for public meetings or rented for training sessions.
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