Members met in closed session Tuesday night, then reconvened and voted to authorize the sale.
“It will allow new life to be breathed into this building and provides an opportunity for the district to focus resources on education and the needs of Duluth children and families,” Chair Jill Lofald said in a press release.
The district hasn’t said whether there are any potential buyers.
The building currently houses the district offices, Area Learning Center and the Academic Excellence Online High School. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Back in January, the Duluth School board approved listing the 162,000 square foot building for sale.
A facilities assessment in 2019 estimated over $48.5 million in maintenance needs for the building.
The vote tonight gives district administration and the board chair, Lofald, the authority to enter into a final purchase agreement.
“A purchase agreement allows a buyer to conduct due diligence prior to closing on a property. Due to the complexity of historic credits, opportunity zone credits and other local or regional financing options, the due diligence period could take up to a year to finalize,” an ISD 709 press release said. “There would be points in the process where decisions to continue or end the agreement can happen by both the buyer and the school district.”
There is no agreement yet. Should one be finalized and signed, the district says it will provide more detail then.
“District Administration will continue research and collaboration on plans for a possible