District 621 moves programs for all-day K

On Tuesday, June 25 the Mounds View School Board unanimously authorized the district to enter into lease agreements for two properties to house its K-8 Special Education Programs, Adult Basic Education Programs and Adult Learning Center Program.

Relocation of these programs is necessary to accommodate the free all-day kindergarten program the district will be offering starting in the 2014-15 school year.

The district has plans to move kindergarten out of its six elementary schools, making them first through fifth grade.

Starting in the fall of 2014, kindergarten students who would have attended classes at Island Lake and Turtle Lake Elementary Schools in past years will attend at the Snail Lake Education Center in Shoreview, where the K-8 Special Education Programs are currently operated.

The K-8 Special Education Programs will be moved to a leased space at 2408 County Hwy. 10 in Mounds View, adjacent to the Wynnsong Theatre. District 621 Finance Director Carole Nielsen said the district previously leased the space five years ago for the same programs.

The lease of the 11,000 square foot space is for six years, beginning at the end of August. No rent will be charged during the first year.

At the June 25 meeting, Nielsen told the board that the rent for the building the second year would be $6 per square foot, or around $67,000 annually, with a 3 percent annual increase in years three through six of the contract.

Kindergarten students who would have attended Bel Air, Pinewood, Sunnyside and Valentine Hills Elementary schools in past years will attend classes at the Pike Lake Education Center in New Brighton starting in 2014.

To make room for incoming kindergartners, the Adult Education and Adult Learning Center programs will be relocated a little further up the road to the Silver View Plaza located at 2544-2574 County Hwy. 10 in Mounds View.

“I think we’re going to gain a lot of efficiency by having those two programs housed together,” Nielsen told board members.

She added that the Silver View property is a natural fit for the Adult Education and Adult Learning Center Programs.

The space was used until recently by a charter school and should not require heavy reconstruction.

The lease agreement for the property is five years, beginning no later than Aug. 31, 2014. The rent for the 13,000 square foot facility is $6 per square foot, or just over $79,000 per year. There will be a 3 percent annual increase in rent for years two through five of the contract.

Nielsen said there is a provision in the contract that would allow for workers to get into the building early to do modest modifications in order for it to be ready at the start of the 2014-15 school year.

At the June 25 meeting, District 621 Superintendent Dan Hoverman said there was an exhaustive search for available properties within the community to house the programs being moved to make way for all-day kindergarten.

“One of the things that we were looking for were places where we could go into and where there was not going to be the need for a lot of demolition or reconstruction,” he said. “I think that both sites offer us the ability with limited expenditures, to be able to go in and build to suit and design it specifically to our programs.”

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at  jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.

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