Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - It appears the Rochester School District’s new middle school will likely be built on the northwest side of the city.

The Rochester City Council voted 6-1 Monday afternoon to deny a request to annex an 80-acre site in southwest Rochester where the school district had hoped to begin building the new middle school this fall. In denying the request, the majority of the Councilmembers cited the input of city staff, who opposed the annexation of the parcel adjacent to the Hart Farms subdivision along 40th Street Southwest over concerns that building a school at the site would drive the development of housing in the area well ahead of the timetable laid out in the city’s recently updated comprehensive development plan.

The school district earlier announced a purchase agreement for the southwest Rochester property after consultants identified it as the best location for meeting the needs of the school system and its students in the future. Long-range plans also called for a possible high school and an elementary school on the same parcel.

Because of the opposition from the city to the southwest location, the public school system and also been drawing up plans for two potential sites in northwest Rochester that are already within the city limits in an effort to meet a construction schedule that calls for work to begin later this year. It’s unclear when the school district will make a determination on where to build to the new middle school, which was approved by voters last fall.

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