Photo of the current Saint Cloud City Hall before the move to the Tech High School building. Photo credit: Mason Cierina
Written by: Mason Cierina
After a year of delay, the city of St. Cloud is in the process of moving its city hall into sections of the former Technical High School near Lake George. The fate of the 105-year-old former Tech property was unknown until talks of the project resuming began to resurface recently.
During a city council meeting at the beginning of April, Mayor David Kleis said that the project arose in early 2015 while discussing how to repurpose the property with community members.
“The first idea for reuse was a housing proposal, but it wouldn’t work financially, so then we decided to utilize the facility as a new city hall,” Kleis said. “Community members embraced the idea of the city hall, so we went forward with that proposal.”
Sections of the 105-year-old building were in desperate need of restoration, requiring the city to start bidding for demolition and renovation work. The project was set in motion in 2019, but was put on hold due to the COVID pandemic.
“If not for COVID, we would’ve been done with the project by now, but due to the unstable bond market in 2020, we decided to hit the pause button,” Kleis said.
According to Community Development Director Matt Glaesman, the bidding resumed in 2021, resulting in city officials finally settling on a $10.3 million bid to renovate the former Tech High School.
“We wanted to modernize the building while also preserving its historical look, which was the deciding factor when choosing a renovation team,” Glaesman said.
Demolition will occur in the entire western academic building, making way for a new parking lot. Tech’s library will turn into the council chambers, and former classrooms will become city offices.
“The demolition and remodeling of Tech will start in the next two weeks,” Glaesman said. “The proceeds from the sale of our current city hall building will go towards the developmental costs of restoring Tech [High School].”
Glaesman says that the current city hall building hasn’t sold yet, as city officials are still in the process of calling for bids.
“We currently have several different offers from three parties, but we’ll announce our final decision at our city council meeting on April 12th,” Glaesman said.
Kleis said that the local community is still very supportive of the move as they want to preserve the history of the 100-year-old building.
“If all goes as plan, we will be on track for moving our city hall into Tech [High School] by the end of this year,” Kleis said. “By the time we move into the building, it will be 105 years old, which we will continue to preserve since it captures so much of our community’s heritage and history.”