The bus garage currently located near White Bear Lake Area High School North Campus will likely move to Hugo to make room for the one-campus high school expansion.
The school board approved a purchase agreement with a property owner in the Bald Eagle Industrial Park at its Nov. 12 meeting. Details of the agreement were not released from the closed meeting.
The 7-acre site is located off Fenway Boulevard, near the intersection of Fenway Boulevard Circle, according to Washington County Property records. Its 2019 value was listed as $648,700. The land is owned by Nordling Property, located in White Bear Lake.
The location, size, accessibility and cost was what the district was looking for, according to Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak. The relocation of the bus garage will make room for the unified high school expansion.
At the same meeting, the board also approved a purchase agreement with a homeowner near North Campus. During the bond referendum planning earlier this year, the district had expressed interest in buying about 20 houses near North Campus if homeowners are interested in selling. One property owner recently approached the district with a proposal.
The 0.22-acre property is located at 4957 Division Ave., between Central Middle School and North Campus, according to Ramsey County property records. Its 2019 estimated market value was $132,600. It is owned by Prelude Equities in Vadnais Heights.
“We hope that it is the first of several we are able to acquire to expand the site,” said Superintendent Wayne Kazmierczak after the meeting was reopened to the public.
The board authorized staff to sign paperwork to acquire the properties for the expansion of the high school.
In other action, the board:
• Canvassed votes from the Nov. 5 election. A total of 16,659 voters of the district voted. For the bond referendum, 8,536 voted for and 6,336 voted against. School board results were: Scott Arcand, 5,204; Patrick Bataglia, 4,720; Margaret Newmaster, 6,163; Angela Thompson, 7,222; and Scott Wilson, 4,787. There were 382 write-ins. Certificates of election were approved to proceed with election-related duties. The board also approved polling locations for the 2020 election.
• Approved an agreement with Wold Architects and Engineers to provide architectural services for the school renovation plans outlined in the bond referendum.
• Approved 2020 health insurance rates. The medical-hospitalization insurance rates will increase by 5% to the HRA plan, 7% to the co-pay plan and 2% to the dental plan total rate effective Jan. 1. An HSA plan will be offered beginning in January. The total monthly premiums for a family will be about $2,270 for the co-pay plan, $1,870 for the HRA plan and $1,715 for the HSA plan.
• Accepted about $5,500 in Ryan Art grants and about $19,500 in Brosious Teaching grants from the White Bear Lake Area Educational Foundation.
• Accepted tentative agreements with several employment groups: SEIU Local Unit No. 284 Paraeducators, SEIU Local Unit No. 284 Secretarial and Clerical Employees, White Bear Lake Principals’ Association, and nonaffiliated and administrative employees.