Vision Building Project - Moving Ahead

Vision Building Project - Moving Ahead
Posted on 03/23/2021
Vision Building Project

Hinckley-Finlayson, Pine City, and East Central School Districts have a long history of working together to offer programs that meet the needs of students. All of the districts are members of the St. Croix River Education District (SCRED). By working collaboratively the districts create improved learning experiences for students and use taxpayer dollars more cost effective long term.

One specific example of our cooperation is our ‘Vision’ program which is located in Pine City and serves students with emotional and behavioral disorders. This program requires a separate facility to meet student needs effectively. Two recent events have triggered the three school districts to develop a new, comprehensive long term plan for this program.

  • The Minnesota Department of Education notified the school districts and SCRED that the current space is too small and alternative options should be examined to meet the program needs.
  • The current lease that houses the program is up in July and unavailable to be used in the future.
Thus, the program needs to be moved to another location beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.

After careful consideration of many locations, options, and variables, the three school boards are collectively proceeding forward in a cooperative partnership with SCRED, to purchase the former Chris Foods’ building in Pine City and renovate the building to become the new home for the Vision Program. The total project amount (including the property purchase) that has been approved by the districts is $4,033,009 and will be funded through a lease purchase agreement that will be shared by the three districts. The districts have hired ICS Consulting to serve as the owner’s representative and help to oversee the planning, acquisition, design and construction oversight of the facility. The construction will be up for public bid for local contractor participation. We hope this will be a long-term solution and will serve our students well for many years to come. By working together, we will make this program better, in a space designed to meet the needs of our students, and do so in an efficient and affordable approach for the taxpayers for all three districts.

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