Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - One week after an annexation request was denied by the city, the Rochester School Board Tuesday night approved the purchase of another site on the other side of town for a new middle school.

The 40-acre site is located on the north side of 65th St NW near the future 55th Ave intersection and is owned by a Stillwater couple. The purchase price was $800,000. The other site was a rural SW site.

The board selected the NW site over another alternative. That 40-acre site is located along 50th Avenue NW at the future intersection of Badger Hills Drive. Owner Mark Kramer had offered to sell the site for just $1. The board was told that site presented some issues.

“First, the adjoining land is in the Byron Public School district, which means new homes that may be eventually developed next to the school would not be in the Rochester Public School district. Second, the distance to John Adams Middle School is relatively close and would put three of the District’s four middle schools in a nearly straight line across the city, which is not as desirable for boundary adjustments that need to be made. Third, the grading and sloping of the land at 50th Avenue/Badger Hills Drive is more challenging than the land at 65th Street/55th Avenue.”

The district wants to begin work on the new school this year so it can be ready by the fall of 2022.

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