UPDATE: St. Cloud School’s New Tech High School To Open In 2019
ST. CLOUD -- After years of debate, and one previously failed referendum, St. Cloud is getting a new Technical High School. Voters in District 742 passed question number one on Tuesday's ballot by just 324 votes. The move allows the district to levy for $104.5-million.
Superintendent Willie Jett says they plan to open the new school in the fall of 2019.
So that would mean this spring - the spring of 2017 - getting everything underway. In terms of next steps, there's many different meetings, there's planning, there's the actual design of what programs will be in that building. So a whirlwind of activity getting ready to happen right away.
Jett says preliminary drawings for the new Tech were produced in July. It will be designed to hold about 1,600 students. The new Tech will be built on land already owned by the district along 33rd Street South.
Jett also says he's disappointed the second question to upgrade Apollo High School failed. He says the entire community needs first class facilities, on both sides of town.
More than 45,700 votes were cast with the "yes" votes garnering 50.35% of the votes and "no" votes 49.65%...a difference of 324 votes.
A second question asked for $38,750,000 to renovate Apollo High School, but that measure failed with approximately 51.48% "no" votes to 48.52% "yes" votes.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Willie Jett says they will also start moving forward on a proposal to repurpose portions of the current Tech.
We've been having that conversation at the board finance committee level. We weren't going to move completely forward yet. The first step was what happened last night, and now we can starting putting everything else in terms of the future of what Tech would be.
Jett says they want to use the 1917 and 1938 parts of the building - otherwise known as the area that has doors 1 through 6 - into space for the District Offices and the Welcome Center. The cost for the renovation would be between $8 million and $12 million. Jett says they want city and neighborhood involvement in that project. The district will sell off their remaining land in that area.