- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—ST. PETER — The City Council took another intermediate step toward the construction of the new high school on Monday night when it approved a land plat that combines city- and school district-owned land.

The approved plat combines a northern piece, which totals 60 acres and is owned by the school district, and a southern piece, which covers 70 acres and is owned by the city. That piece overlaps County Road 5, also known as Fort Road, with 11 acres on the south side abutting Gustavus Adolphus College. The western edge is 361st Avenue.

Ownership doesn’t change; this allows the properties to be considered for development.

“This is part of a three-step process,” said Russ Wille, community development director.

The first step was annexation, which the council approved June 22 and the state approved last week.

The final step of city involvement of the school’s development will be a site plan review. Expected for September, the district will seek a conditional use permit for the construction of the 186,500-square-foot school building and athletic facilities, estimated to cost $55 million. The city and school district then plan to divide the property into two parcels, which will effectively be a land swap.

The school will end up with the southern portion bordering County Road 5, where the new high school will be located. And the city will end up with the northern section, which will eventually become a city park.

At the far northern end lies a pond, which must be retained and excluded from development in a drainage easement.

“That pond must be maintained in its current location, flow and levels,” Wille said.

Follow Nancy Madsen on Twitter @nmadsenmfp.

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(c)2015 The Free Press (Mankato, Minn.)

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