District 196 makes offer on Apple Valley building
School lunch prices to go up
The Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District has offered to pay $5 million for a 28,0000-square-foot building in Apple Valley in an effort to save money.
The offer, which was sent to building owner AVP Developers. was approved by the School Board on May 14 and will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Education for review.
District 196 has leased the building for the past five years for adult education programs.
To date, the district pays $380,000 in rent annually, which is projected to increase to $414,900. It also pays $112,000 in taxes and is responsible for maintenance.
By purchasing the building, the district will have a lower payment and won’t have to pay property taxes.
The building – located near the intersection of County Road 42 and Johnny Cake Ridge Road in Apple Valley – houses several programs and nearly 300 students.
It is used for the district’s Area Learning Center, Transition Plus and Pathway. Transition Plus and Pathway help young adults with special needs transition from school to adult life.
These programs would stay put if the building is purchased by the district.
The facility was built between 2005 and 2006 for the district by AVP Developers.
District 196 moved its programs into the building in 2006 and agreed to lease it until 2016.
At the time, the district’s lease on another facility had expired, and the new building seemed to be a temporary solution until officials could decide whether to move the programs back into other buildings.
“We determined the old facility was not ideal for those programs,” said Jeff Solomon, finance director for District 196.
Although enrollment has declined in recent years, the district’s existing buildings don’t have enough space, he said.
Lunch prices rise
Parents in District 196 can expect to pay more for their children’s school lunch next year due to a new federal mandate.
The School Board on May 14 approved a 10-cent increase for lunch at the district’s elementary and high schools. Adults will also pay 10 cents more next year.
As a result, lunch prices will rise to $2.20 at the elementary schools and to $2.35 at the high schools. Lunch prices for middle school students would remain the same at $2.25, and breakfast and milk prices would also be unchanged. The price of lunch for adults will increase to $3.40.
Board Member Rob Duchscher has noted that the district wouldn’t have to raise its lunch prices had it not been for a recent federal mandate.
The federal Healthy Hunger-Free Act of 2010 requires more fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy items be served on all school menus.
District 196 has voluntarily used healthier products, including locally grown fruits and vegetables, for several years, district officials say.
The mandate also strives to ensure schools have equity in school-lunch pricing by providing the same level of financial support for all students.
Lunch prices were increased by five cents for the 2011-12 school year as a result of the first year of Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act requirements.
Prior to the mandate, the district subsidized its lunch program, in part, through its a la carte program. The mandate prohibits such an exchange, Solomon said.