ST. CLOUD – One of the most historic high school football stadiums in Minnesota will be demolished to make way for a new community education building and welcome center.

The St. Cloud area school district has approved a call for bids for site preparation for a new building on the site.

The district hopes to start construction in the spring with a goal of completing the building by the end of June 2017. The site will now be leveled off and the stands and structures will be taken down. The school board will still need to approve specific architectural designs in the future before construction can start.

The new building would house early childhood education, community education, adult basic education, the district welcome center, media services and the administrative offices.

Clark Field (Jim Maurice, WJON)

The cost is estimated to be $25 million for the building and 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 district says putting a new building on the field will be more cost-effective compared to renovating the current Tech High School site for the programs, which would cost an estimated $35 million. It would maintain a school district presence in the neighborhood and would also create a central location for the programs and departments.

The district is also working to find alternative sites for practices and games that were being held on the Field. District 742 executive director of business services, Kevin Januszewski, says they're negotiating with St. Cloud State to use Selke Field for athletic practices. Lower level team games could be hosted at South Junior High. Physical education classes at Tech will likely use Lake George for future outdoor space.

Some school board members did raise concerns about the immediate future for Tech athletics and physical education, but ultimately supported the project and call for bids.

During the meeting, the board also approved a purchase of property (Photo below) adjacent to the field to square off the site and add future space for parking. The land cost the district $115,000 and involves a home and yard to the northwest of the field. School board member Bruce Mohs added during the meeting that the home is a rental unit.

Clark Field opened in 1942 and was closed to Tech High School varsity football in 2012 due to mold concerns.

Highlighted in red: the land the District purchased. (Photo: District 742)