Northeast Brainerd likely will still be home for the Brainerd School District's Early Childhood Family Education program.
The program will move into the Super One Foods building in East Brainerd. The Brainerd store will be closing.
The Brainerd School Board approved a purchase agreement Monday with Miner's Inc. of Duluth, a parent company of Super One Foods, to move its ECFE program to the facility.
The site also will include the Area Education Center, which is currently using leased space in St. Andrew's Catholic Church in Brainerd.
In a press release to the school board, Mike Miner of Miner's Inc., wrote that the agreement is intended to help the community of Brainerd and allow for the needed expansion of the area's school system.
"This agreement also allows Super One Foods the opportunity to work toward developing a new, larger store that will better meet the needs of our customers," said Miner. "The timing of this arrangement offers options that are beneficial to so many and part of our considerations have been short-term and long-term needs of our loyal store employees. We're confident that the most current employees will have an opportunity to work at the Super One Foods store in Baxter during the transition."
There are 27 employees who work at the store that was built in 1980. Employees were notified of the closing of the store this morning by a representative from Miner's Inc.
Store manager Doug Haines had no comment this morning on the store closing.
Barbara Swenson, director of marketing at Miner's, said this morning that selling the store came up quickly, but it is a good situation for the school, the community and for the future needs of Super One Foods' customers.
Swenson said it has yet to be determined when the store will close. She said Brainerd employees will have an opportunity to work at the store in Baxter.
Swenson said the corporation is looking in the general area to build a new store, but it is too early to say where it would be or even if the store would be in the Brainerd area.
"There are so many unknowns right now," she said. "Everything is too preliminary."
Paul Bloom, Brainerd Community Education director, said the district plans at this time to move into the new site sometime in July if everything goes as planned.
Currently, the ECFE program uses leased space in the East Brainerd Mall. The lease expires July 31, 2002. The program uses 8,000 square feet in the mall.
The location of the program became a question after Oppidan Inc., a merchant development company based in Minnetonka, decided to redevelop the mall. The school board decided, in May, not to lease space from Oppidan.
The purchase agreement between the district and Miner's Inc. is for $937,500.
The school board also approved a lease agreement with the Housing Redevelopment Authority, which will consider this proposal Wednesday. This proposal is subject to approval by the HRA. This will allow the district to lease the Super One Foods building for 20 years and then buy the building for $1. The HRA would oversee the ownership of the facility and make sure the lease payments by the district were made.
The lease agreement with the HRA would involve an estimated $3.27 million, which includes all capital expenses such as remodeling costs as well as the purchase price. The agreement with the HRA calls for a 20-year lease at a 5.4 percent interest rate. The cost would be $22,300 a month or $268,000 a year.
Currently the district lease costs are $107,000 for the ECFE and the Area Education Center programs. The future site would hold these two programs, as well as the Middle Level Alternative Program and two Early Childhood Special Education classrooms.
The site will provide the district with 28,500 square feet, that gives the district an additional 12,250 square feet of space.
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