City loses money on sale of school building

Local News

One would think that selling a building purchased for $2 would be a huge money-maker.

That wasn’t the case when the Winnebago City Council sold the elementary school building to Veterans Enterprises Inc. for $61,000.

City Administrator Jake Skluzacek says expenses totaling $68,953 was spent on the building through February of this year.

“These were mainly operating costs and some repairs,” says Skluzacek. “There was $150,000 taken from city reserves to fund the project for a year.”

Skluzacek says part of the nearly $69,000 spent includes a pre-design study conducted by WSN of Rochester costing $35,000.

The study identified 11 items that needed to be addressed to preserve the building without major construction.

Veterans Enterprises plans to provide transitional housing, educational training and health care services for former armed service members living in southern Minnesota.

In addition, Garth Carlson says the Madelia-based veterans group would allow Genesis Classical Academy to locate there as well as use by the public.

Veterans Enterprises outbid Center for Educational Development (CED) of Winnebago, a group working to transform the school into a vocational training center, recreational facility, day care, community event center and school for grades pre-K through 12.

CED president Scott Robertson says he’s not sure what the future holds for the non-profit organization.

“We did some painting and repairs to the building and hired someone to find tenants to move in,” says Robertson. “I contacted contractors and got bids to do some work. We were ready to go.”

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