The La Crescent School Board voted Wednesday night to sell the current elementary school on Oak Street to Springbrook LLC, but only if a referendum authorizing the city to raise funds for a new elementary school passes in January.
The vote was 6-1 after a closed session discussion. La Crescent-Hokah School District Superintendent Ron Wilke said, "I think it was good discussion, considering, you know, being very thoughtful, in making the decisions. There's been a lot of planning that's gone into this."
If the referendum passes, the La Crescent School District will spend just under $26 million dollars building a new elementary school on Abnet field, in addition to renovating the current high school. The School District said a new elementary school and renovations to the high school are needed because the buildings are aging and inefficient.
"We have school facilities that date back to 1950," Wilke said. "Our approach to instruction and student learning needs is far different in 2014."
La Crescent-Hokah Public Schools said they also hope the additions increase school security, provide more space for learning, and allow for more technology in the classroom.
Springbrook LLC plans to use the current elementary school property to provide senior housing, including independent and assisted living, as well as memory care. The school district said Springbrook's proposed development could add as much as $14 million dollars to La Crescent's tax base, and will provide jobs.
The sale will only go through if the January referendum passes.
Wilke said that if the referendum passes, the school district is hoping to be in the new elementary school by December of 2016.