The Brainerd School Board's Building Committee looked at possible options Monday on locating the Early Childhood Family Education program.
The full school board decided to research the options and decide at a later date which would work best for the district.
The district currently leases 8,000 square feet for the program in the East Brainerd Mall, which is currently being pursued for purchase by Oppidan Inc., a merchant development company of Minnetonka. The company recently received conceptual approval for tax-increment financing on its proposed $12 million project from the Brainerd City Council.
Paul Tucci, Oppidan representative, would like to lease 26,000 square feet to the district for child and adult education classes for 15 years with three additional options to extend the lease for an additional five years.
Paul Bloom, Brainerd Community Education director, discussed additional options for the program's future site, such as having an investor construct a 10,000 square feet building for the ECFE program and have a long-term lease with an option to buy. The district owns two parcels of property for future growth -- one is a 20-acre plat near Buffalo Hills Lane and another is 180 acres in Baxter.
Another option the committee plans to research would be to move the ECFE program into the administration office at Mississippi Horizons. Then the administration office could be moved to a new location, or possibly the district could lease an empty 7,200 square feet space in the Baxter Industrial Park.
The board agreed to explore the possibilities of working out some type of deal with St. Andrew's Church. The school currently leases 5,900 square feet at the church for its AEC program. The church has property where an addition could provide space for the ECFE program.
"They have been very good to us," said Superintendent Jerry Walseth. "They have a lot of space. Would they will be willing to have a conversation with us?"
The last option the school district discussed was to use portables and move them into modular units that could be placed on district-owned land.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.