The Alexandria School Board is selling its property on 18th Avenue to Alexandria Technical and Community College, and is buying a different property.
At its regular meeting on Monday night, the Alexandria School Board approved spending $1.1 million the for Productive Alternatives Inc. building and property at 107 Donna Ave.
There are still some details to work out in selling the school's 18th Avenue property, which includes the former Jefferson High football field.
"We've been working on this for quite some time with ATCC," Superintendent Rick Sansted said. "The 18th Avenue property is where the old high school football field used to be, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense for us as a school district to hold onto that anymore. It's a good spot for ATCC, and we'll likely finalize that sale in the next month. That means we need a new place to go for our transportation shop, building and grounds staff. There's some storage there that we will relocate along with our food and nutrition services staff as well."
The building purchase and the selling of the 18th Avenue property go hand-in-hand. During the board meeting, business director Trevor Peterson mentioned the purchase price would be mostly offset what the district receives from ATCC. Though the final details of the purchase agreement are not finalized, there is a slight difference in each property's cost. Those prices were accounted for in the budget.
Pope/Douglas Solid Waste Management is also purchasing land from ATCC to the east of the existing PDSW facility in order to move on with the expansion of the PDSW campus. ATCC's desire to recoup the lost land led to District 206 being a viable seller.
Board eyeing a return to in-person learning
On Tuesday, Jan. 26, the Alexandria School District's COVID-19 team will meet to discuss the next grade levels returning to in-person learning.
"You can only bring so many grade levels back at a time under the guidelines of the Minnesota Department of Health and the Department of Education," Sansted said during the meeting. "We will have some good dialogue on Tuesday and share that information with the parents on Wednesday. We are looking at a couple of grade-levels in our middle school and high school and will come up with a couple of options going forward."
A plethora of Alexandria teachers has begun getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Sansted said that around 140 staff members had received the first round of the vaccine. While keeping safety the top priority, the district will continue to do bi-weekly testing for staff members.
"The county numbers continue to stay low," Sansted said. "Our staff testing happens every other week. We had about 80 staff members tested last Tuesday. We will continue to partner with public health, and we are thankful they made shots available for our staff on extremely short notice. Our staff has been extremely flexible during this time, and we are thankful for that."