ST. CLOUD -- With the controversy surrounding District 742's plans involving the century-old Technical High School, the district, and the City of St. Cloud are partnering to find a solution.

With their purchase of the former Minnesota School of Business building and their final decision to leave the old Tech, the talks between District 742 and the city have taken on a higher priority.

St. Cloud Area Public Schools Superintendent Willie Jett says the city is better suited to take the lead, because of their experiences with neighborhood planning.

"We're in the business of teaching and learning. Not necessarily real estate and city planning. So the city has access to people that have expertise in this, it's the Lake George neighborhood, and they've led these kinds of conversations in the past."

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis echoed Jett's statement, saying the city has a strong interest in preserving one of its core neighborhoods.

"We need to make sure to preserve the neighborhood, its historic heritage, and also allow the district to focus on its main mission, which is moving forward [with the new Tech High School]. And so I think we have to be there, and that's why we're having discussions."

While nothing is set in stone yet, both Kleis and Jett have said there are ideas being talked about, and they're in constant communication. Kleis hopes to have some concrete ideas to present shortly after we move into 2018.

The starting point looks to be a committee made up of representatives from the neighborhood, and long-time city institutions.

This goal echoes the sentiments of a protest outside a school board meeting in July, where protestors wanted the district to work with St. Cloud State University, the Lake George Neighborhood Association, the city, and local businesses.

While there is strong support for this initiative, both the St. Cloud City Council, and District 742 School Board will have to be on board with any decisions made.

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