WAITE PARK -- After taking a lot of flak over their purchase of the Minnesota School of Business building in Waite Park, District 742 made a choice that could pay off in more ways than one.

During the summer, the district bought the former Minnesota School of Business in Waite Park, in spite of community backlash over transparency. However, after a little over a month of officially owning the building, it looks like they have a large new asset.

Interim Executive Director of Business Servies Amy Skaalerud says they've found a lot of left-behind technology that could be a boost to the district.

"There's a lot of science equipment, a number of microscopes, anatomy models, and diagrams, and other [general] science equipment. I know our CTE coordinator was very excited when we were there yesterday."

She adds they even found things from the former school's old veterinary program that could be very valuable to the district.

"There's surgical vet equipment that we as a district have no need for. We have some local vets that have expressed interest, so at some point we'll be doing a bid process to get rid of that equipment. A number of it [pieces of equipment] looks significant in value."

Another plus from the new building is moving all major district administration functions into a much more centralized location. Currently, they're spread out over a few buildings and in several areas within Apollo High School.

Skaalerud says Apollo is excited about the district's move because it allows them to use space district administration is currently occupying.

"[Apollo] is at capacity in terms of space, so for them to be able to get some space back here and add classrooms, to not feel so congested is going to be great for their purposes as well."

The district is looking at renovating the former Minnesota School of Business from February to May. Their goal is to move into the new offices by the end of June 2018.

One reason the district gave in choosing the new building over renovating the century-old Tech High School was inefficiency. The district would've needed only 40,000 out of the 330,000 square feet the 100-year-old high school building has.

Facebook, Minnesota School Of Business
Facebook, Minnesota School Of Business

The St. Cloud Area School District bought the 40,000 square foot building for $5.6-million. Had the district chosen to renovate the old Tech High School, they would have paid an estimated $4-million to $7-million more.

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