Public weighs in on future of Historic Old Central High School | www.WDIO.com

Public weighs in on future of Historic Old Central High School

Ryan Juntti
Updated: March 02, 2021 10:50 PM
Created: March 02, 2021 09:43 PM

The future of Historic Old Central High School is coming more into focus, and Tuesday night was an opportunity for the public to be heard on the future sale of the iconic Duluth landmark.

The plan is to relocate departments and services within Historic Old Central High School to new locations by October 25.

The building currently serves as the site for the Academic Excellence Online High School, and the Area Learning Center. These are two of the programs that will have to be relocated.

Dean of Students for the Area Learning Center Chris Vold says he is in favor of the sale, but expressed concerns with the plans to move the programs.

"We're about six months away from having to vacate this facility, which houses two other Duluth high schools, and we're still no closer to any programming decisions for these schools than we were five months ago when we learned this building was sold," said Vold.

The Duluth School District decided to list Historic Old Central High School for sale in October when it was discovered it would take nearly $48.5 million in maintenance to restore it.

Loren Martell of Duluth spoke about how he feels that money should be used.

"I believe it would be more responsible to channel the money that you're saving in maintenance in this building to meet the increasing maintenance needs of the district," said Martell.

The Duluth School Board previously entered into a purchase agreement with developer Saturday Properties based out of St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

They are reportedly looking to convert the historic building into a variety of mixed-income apartments, but so far no official sale agreement has been made.

As part of the relocation plans, a new District Services Center will be constructed on the Central on the Hill site.

The existing Facilities Building on the Central Hill site will also be renovated, and there will also be construction of a new facility for District Transportation. 

Construction is expected to take place in phases between fall of 2021 and winter of 2022. 

The district will also be obtaining leased space for the Alternative Learning Center, and Adult Basic Education.

Credits

Ryan Juntti

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