Stevens County (Alberta, Chokio, Donnelly, Hancock, Morris) Community

Old Morris Elementary School Re-use

Posted in Uncategorized by stevensforward on May 10, 2010
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What to do about this 17-acre site, got any ideas? Share your feedback, suggestions, etc…


7 Responses to 'Old Morris Elementary School Re-use'

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    hopefully before they finally tear it down they will have a salvage auction like they did at the old m dot bldg.

  2. Morris City Council Approves Elementary School Demolition Plans, Opens Call for Bids Feb 27th 2013 The Morris City Council has approved the plans and specifications for the demolition of the old Morris elementary school building, and has issued a call for bids. Chuck DeWolf, the project engineer, says the plan is to remove everything from the site, down to the building’s footings. The specifications indicate that all hazardous materials mitigation will be completed by the contractor, or their
    sub-contractor. Following removal of the entire building from the site, the area will be filled in with black dirt. By the end of the
    project, DeWolf says the site should be a big open space, ready for future development.

    The old school has been empty for a number of years and has been the target of several vandal and nuisance crimes, including multiple fires in the building. Morris Chief of Police Jim Beauregard says safety concerns are likely to continue throughout the demolition process. He says the police department expects many people will want to see the demolition taking place and may be tempted to get too close or to enter the construction zone. In response, Beauregard says, additional patrols will be added through the duration of the project.

    City Council members raised a number of concerns about the project, including the route trucks would take when removing hazardous
    materials and the rest of the building. The plans and specifications direct all truck traffic east, down 7th Street in Morris to the
    Highway 59 bypass. From there, trucks can head south, to the county’s landfill. DeWolf noted that all hazardous loads follow special
    regulations, including encapsulating all asbestos before it is removed from the site by truck.

    Morris City Manager Blaine Hill says the financing for the project is in place, with Tax Increment Financing Districts poised to pay back
    bonds that will pay contractors during the construction timeline. Hill issued a call for bids on Wednesday, February 27. He says a number of contractors, both locally and from around the state, have shown interest in the project. DeWolf estimates the winning bid will be between $1 to 1.1 million. Bids will be opened on March 21, with a public hearing on the project and bond issue set for 5:20 p.m. on March 26 in the Morris Senior Community Center.

  3. Morris Moves on Road Construction, School Property Development – KMRS/KKOK “… After the entire structure has been removed, crews will haul in black dirt to fill the resulting hole and resurface the area. The project end date is September 30, 2013…..City Manager Blaine Hill says he will sift through all proposals before presenting various plans to the city council. The property could be sold as a single parcel or in slices to various developers. The council has previously expressed a desire to see multi-family housing units developed on the site, along with affordable housing for seniors. Hill notes he has received several requests from the public for souvenirs from inside the building or pieces of the building. Robertson says the demolition crew will not be allowing any member of the public inside the building, nor will they be issuing souvenirs. The demolition crew will, however, give the city any building cornerstones, including the dated “1914″ cornerstone, and any time capsules discovered during demolition. “

  4. City seeks proposals for old school property
    As contractors got started removing asbestos and other hazardous materials from the old elementary school building, members of the Morris City Council started to look forward to what might happen to the property next. On Tuesday, the council, acting as the city Economic Development Authority (EDA) authorized City Manager Blaine Hill to advertise a request for proposals (RFP) to redevelop the 17.75 acres of the site.

    “We’re not land barons, we’re not developers in the city, so the next step is to figure out what is going to happen to that property,” said Hill.

    “When we receive the information we can more forward and decide what we’re going to do from there,” concurred council member Jeff Miller. “We need to see what people have for ideas, people who are looking to build and develop the property to get it back on our tax rolls so it helps us pay our taxes to keep our city running.”

    The property was valued at $352,000 and is zoned multiple family residence. It is also in a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, which means developers could have access to TIF funding for part of a development project (after enough TIF money is collected to pay for the building demolition).

    According to the RFP, proposals should include:
    • the price the developer will pay for the property they are interested in;
    • a statement of vision for the use of the property;
    • a statement of the conditions or commitment the proposer wants from the city and the EDA;
    • a proposed timeline for the project;
    • and a discussion of why the proposer believes they should be given the opportunity to redevelop the property.

    Because the city is selling the property, the council will not have to automatically accept the proposal with the highest bid amount, noted Mayor Sheldon Giese.

    Development proposals must be submitted to the city by June 20, 2013. Hill told the council he would meet with developers to answer questions, review the proposals, then bring the proposals to the EDA with a recommendation for how to move forward.

    In a memo to the council, Hill said he did not recommend involving the public in a review of the proposals because there are measures in place to protect the city and its residents — the building will be gone, the property has a specific zoning designation and the land has already been appraised.

    “I think we’d be better off selling it as one parcel rather than in bits and pieces,” said council member Bill Storck. “If you piecemeal it, the best lots are up on top, along Columbia Avenue, it might make a difference on the price.”

    During discussion on the resolution, council member Kevin Wohlers asked whether it would be advantageous for a member of the council to sit in on any developer meetings.

    “The easiest way to answer that is that it’s not the way the council works,” said Hill. “The council works as a group … In a way, that’s what you pay me for, is to be able to do that for you and make recommendations back to you. I don’t know how much one individual would get out of that to and be able to bring back to the city council. That’s not the process that we typically have in place.”

    Hill noted that he might bring the city’s financial consultants into the meetings to help answer specific questions about TIF.

    “My intention is to really find out what they’re looking at doing and see if there are any issues that we have to work out before that proposal comes to the EDA to review,” Hill concluded. “I’ll recommend what I think as far as what you may want to do with the proposals.”

    For the moment, however, the focus at the old elementary school property is on demolition.

    Hazard abatement crews with Dore and Associates moved into the old elementary school building this week to start the hazardous materials removal. Once crews enter the building, no one will be allowed in because it will be a hazardous environment, said Hill.

    “We are a little bit worried about people going into the building and stuff like that, but they’re going to have their crews working there 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and possibly on weekends, depending on what their schedule is,” said Hill.

    Council member Brian Solvie asked if there is a way for residents to get items out of the building.

    Hill said that community members are not allowed in the building. The city can’t allow anyone to go in because they would have to advertise and allow anyone the opportunity to go in the building.

    When the city signed a contract with Dore and Associates, the firm took official responsibility for the building and has indicated they won’t let anyone into the building because they don’t want to have liability issues, Morris City Manager Blaine Hill said.

    Contractors estimate they will be done removing hazardous materials by the middle of June. After that, they’ll start on demolition. Hill said the contractors estimated they wouldn’t be done with the project until the end of their contracted time, Sept. 30, 2013.

    Dore and Associates will be using Minnesota subcontractors for everything on the project except the hazardous materials removal and major demolition work, said Hill.

    – See more at:

  5. something similar?…

    New senior housing concept for low-income adults
    6:03 PM, May 28, 2013

    “..But now he lives at Heritage Park, a comprehensive senior housing complex you would expect in an affluent suburb. However this one, in North Minneapolis, is for low-income adults. …


  6. Developers offer three proposals for old school property
    MORRIS – Developers from Morris and the Twin Cities have proposed adding assisted living, senior living, student housing and traditional housing to the old elementary school property in Morris. On Tuesday, City Manager Blaine Hill presented a short summary of the proposals from three developers to t…

  7. Developer asks for time to negotiate on old school property “…According to the submitted proposal, Prairieland Partners is interested in purchasing between 9.5 and 12 acres of the property to use for a “mix of higher density housing types” for a variety of demographics.

    The proposal includes about 50 to 60 units of post-secondary student housing on four or five acres along College Avenue; 20 units of senior assisted living on 2.5 to three acres along Seventh Street; and 24 to 30 units of market-rate or affordable housing on three or four acres along Columbia Avenue depending on the demand in the area.

    “We think that those three types fill a very distinct need in town and we think they’re very compatible,” said Schwanke. Prairieland Partners and their companies would be long-term holders in the projects and serve as managers for both the senior and student housing.

    The company did not include plans for the five-acres section of property that includes the old football field, a concern raised by members of the EDA at a prior work session.
    – .” Feel free to email the City Council or EDA ( what you think…

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