School Board Officially Moves Towards New Tech High School [AUDIO]
ST. CLOUD - The St. Cloud area school district is officially moving towards building a new Tech High School at a different location.
The motion to approve the recommendation of a task force to build a new Tech High School at a location on 33rd Street South and County Road 74, passed unanimously during the board meeting on Thursday night. The recommendation also called for equitable improvements at Apollo High School.
The decision to ultimately build a new school will eventually come down to the voters. The board will now move towards creating a referendum to finance the project in 2015. A referendum vote would likely put the item on a ballot for May of next year.
Before the vote, representatives from the community task force and John Pfluger with the Cuningham Architecture Group re-presented their findings to the board.
Architects say building a new Tech High School would cost about $112 million. Remodeling the current Tech would cost an estimated $149 million. Costs to improve and upgrade Apollo would cost almost $52 million.
Before the final vote, Superintendent Willie Jett voiced his support moving towards a new Tech High School. Many other board members also vocally supported the recommendation before voting.
"I do believe this process and timeline has been as pure as we could have possibly created it, and I’m confident in this," board member Bruce Mohs says.
Board Chair Jerry Von Korff says many questions now face the board moving forward.
Even if a new high school is built, architects say the current Tech would be repurposed in order to keep the historic building. Residents in the Lake George neighborhoods have voiced concerns on the future of the area if a new high school is built somewhere else.
With the board moving forward, Von Korff says there are still many crucial decisions remaining. Designing the building, community involvement, academic needs of students, athletic facilities, updating classrooms and figuring out interior design and furniture all need to be discussed by the district with community experts.