It's finally official.
The sale of the Franklin Arts Center from the Brainerd School District to Artspace was finalized this week, Brainerd School Board Curriculum Committee chair Bob Nystrom said Thursday.
Nystrom said the process begin in 2002, when the district started researching the sale of the former Franklin Junior High School for an arts center. The sale of the building closed this week.
"Just so the public knows, the deal has been consummated, the money is in the bank and Artspace officially owns Franklin," Nystrom said.
The funds from the sale go directly into the district's capital fund and cannot be used for general fund expenditures, said Steve Dickinson, director of business services. However, the district asked for and received a state Legislative fund transfer of $750,000 from the capital fund into the general fund last year as a way to soften budget cuts, knowing the district would have the Franklin sale to replenish the capital fund, Dickinson said.
In other committee action, the committee members approved the final lease with the state for the Minnesota Learning Center space at the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center from Sept. 1, 2007, through Aug. 31, 2008, at a cost of $166,438, an increase from $126,000 the previous year.
Dickinson said it will cost about $170,000 to renovate Lincoln Elementary School into the Minnesota Learning Center this summer, money that comes directly from the capital fund. Once the renovation is complete, the district will no longer lease space at the state hospital facility, which will be a savings for property owners right away in terms of a reduction in the school property tax levy. The district had levied $138,000 as an estimated cost.
Committee members learned that the increase in costs is attributed in part to the state pushing more of the shared leased footage onto the district as district leased space only.
The committee also approved the 2007-08 contracts with Northern Pines Mental Health Center for services. The contracts are funded through students' private healthcare insurance and special education funding.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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