District Planning to Sell Tech High School Building and Build on Clark Field
ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud area school district is planning to sell the Tech High School building and put in a new building on Clark Field.
The school board is expected to pass the plans during their meeting on Thursday night. The district is now planning on a $167 referedum question this fall. Funds would be used to build a new Tech High School and update Apollo High School, it would also update district wide technology and create more security at eight area schools.
The district is planning to sell the Tech High School and media services buildings. They are also expecting to approve creating a new building on Clark Field. The city of St. Cloud has expressed interest in buying and developing the current Tech site if it's put up for sale.
Administration says proceeds from the sale of the Tech properties could reduce the cost to taxpayers for a new Tech and remodeled Apollo, or it could go towards the new Clark Field building. The new building would house early childhood education, community education, adult basic education, the welcome center, media services and the administrative offices.
The estimated $25 million for the new building would be funded by a $10 million lease levy, $6 million in insurance proceeds and with money ($2.3 million) from the recent sale of the Colts Academy building to St. Joseph. The remaining funds could come through the sale of the media services building, sale of the Wilson building, sale of Tech building, grants or fund balance.
The district says putting a new building on Clark field would be more efficient and cost-effective compared to renovating the Tech site for the programs, which would cost an estimated $35 million. It would also maintain a school district presence in the neighborhood and would create a central location for the programs and departments.
The district will now need to find alternative sites for practices and games that are currently at Clark Field. Possible options being considered include St. Cloud State University, South field, Selke Field, Discovery Community School or Talahi Community School.
Clark Field was closed to Tech High School varsity football in 2012 due to mold concerns. In 2013, a $3.2 million project was proposed by the St. Cloud Tech Alumni Association to renovate Clark Field. The project was put on hold with the emergence of a potential new Tech High School.
The district is also planning to address the historical significance of the site in some way, including the WPA wall.