Austin, A.L. districts to pay $4M for Corcoran Center work, purchase
Published 10:06 am Thursday, April 28, 2016
Austin Public Schools took steps Monday to continue the process of buying the former Corcoran Center and attached classrooms for the Austin Albert Lea Area Special Education Cooperative.
The school board unanimously approved $4,024,000 in lease purchase financing for the site, selecting a deal with Klein Bank for 2.54 percent interest. The lease will be paid over 15 years, and the Austin and Albert Lea districts will each pay half of the purchase. About $200,000 will be used to purchase the building with another $3.8 million to be used for renovations.
Jeff Seeley, a senior municipal advisor with Ehlers Inc., told the board the districts would have paid 3 percent interest for a similar project about a year ago.
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“Your timing was perfect,” he said.
In Austin, an average $100,000 home will pay about $7 a year in taxes for the plan, while an average $200,000 commercial property will pay about $30 a year.
In Albert Lea, an average $100,000 home will pay about $6 a year in taxes for the plan, while an average $200,000 commercial property will pay about $27 a year.
The difference between the communities is based on the overall tax values in the two districts, especially since Albert Lea has more agriculture in its districts.
Austin Public Schools will act as the financing agent, will own the building and will take bids for the needed building renovations to meet the needs of students. Asbestos removal also started earlier this week at the Corcoran Center to make way for the co-op.
The Corcoran Center served as en event facility for several years as part of St. Edwards Church.
The Austin Albert Lea Area Special Education Cooperative will provide specialized services and programs for students in the Setting For Emotional Behavioral Disorder and Students with Unique Needs (SUN) programs.
The plan is to open the cooperative partway through the 2016-17 school year once renovations to the facility are complete.
—Jenae Hackensmith contributed to this report.