It will be another month before Brainerd School District residents know what the future of Franklin Junior High School may be.
The Franklin Junior High School Task Force delayed giving a recommendation to the district's Building Committee Wednesday.
Paul Bloom, Brainerd Community Education director and task force facilitator, said currently there are three prominent companies interested in buying and redeveloping the Franklin building. The companies, however, needed more time to investigate development possibilities of what to do with the facility.
Bloom said by late April the companies should have a proposal ready for the building and then the task force should be ready to make a recommendation to the school board.
Bob Nystrom, school board and Franklin task force member, said the task force wanted to hold off on a recommendation so it can see what the companies are proposing for the school and whether the proposals are beneficial to the school district and the community.
Nystrom said the task force will come back to the building committee with two or three recommendations for the school board to review.
The task force has been meeting since August to determine what should happen to the Franklin site since the school will be closed to students once the middle school in Baxter opens, which is projected to be January 2005.
Bloom said the school district should retain ownership of the 16 acres of land adjacent to the Franklin school, which includes Harvey Shew Field. He said it would be nice to keep the green space for the school district's many activities, such as soccer and football.
Lance Hanfler, Brainerd junior high athletic director, said the seventh- through ninth-grade students use the field at Franklin during football season. He said there are 300 students using the field every night.
"This is a beautiful location," he said. "It just needs to be maintained."
Bloom also said none of the companies expressed interest in buying the green space because the land is not buildable.
The Franklin school and the total 21-acre site is valued at $5.2 million. The value of the 16 acres, without the building, is valued at $1.14 million.
The building committee will make its recommendations about the Franklin site to the school board at its April meeting.
Bloom also said the school district should consider working with Brainerd and other community organizations on a plan to improve the green space and areas surrounding the school to develop a park/recreation area for the entire community to enjoy.
When Widseth, Smith and Nolting, an architecture and engineering firm, conducted its analysis of the school last year, it found the school would need $7.27 million in repairs and renovations for continued use as a school.
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