ST. CLOUD -- After a delay last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Cloud city leaders plan to get the former Technical High School renovation project back on track.

Mayor Dave Kleis says the early bids they received last year for demolition work were favorable, but the bond market was not good, so they decided to put a pause on the project.

During Monday night's city council meeting the council will look to authorize the advertisement for new bids to demolish, abate, and renovate the former school and turn it into the new city hall.

Kleis says the school district still officially owns the site, so they haven't been able to market the former district media center yet.

We were not going to have that transfer take place until we were ready to move forward, so until we have the bids back and we're ready and they are acceptable then we'll complete that purchase agreement with the school district and market that area.

Back in 2018 the school district and the city entered into a letter of intent to transfer the ownership.

The plan includes demolishing the western buildings and also renovate the 1917 and 1938 additions.

In addition, they'll consider putting the current city hall property on the market, which already has two interested buyers.

Of course, we'll do an RFP (Request For Proposals) so there may be more than two that have an interest.  That's a very valuable piece of property, not the building itself that has a tremendous cost long term, but for a different us on that site at least two very interested parties.

The total cost for the project is estimated at more than $9 million, with revenue from the sale of the media center and the sale of the current city hall being used to pay for the project.

Kleis says if all goes well the city could move into the renovated building by the end of this year.

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