New development proposed for part of Gage East School site - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

New development proposed for part of Gage East School site

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Gage East School hasn't been used by the district in nearly 4.5 years.  Now Duluth-based Center City Housing wants to build a family and youth housing project on the site.

The county's director of community services says this location, on 40th St. NW in Rochester, is ideal because it's close to public transportation, grocery stores, and employment.

Tuesday night, the Rochester School Board approved the closing of Gage East.

As it stands, the district will continue to operate the gym and other parts of the building.  The new project will take the remaining space and use it for early childhood education and skills development for the youth living there.

The housing project itself is proposed to be built on a few surrounding acres near the school.

"The reality is if a person has a child protection issue, a mental health issue, a chemical health issue, you can't stabilize those until they have housing.  It's the smart thing to do or else we spend deep end dollars, and it's the right thing to do.  Who in their right mind can allow people to be homeless in a climate like ours," says community service director Paul Fleissner.

Gage East wasn't the only school closed Tuesday.  The school board also approved to close Golden Hill School in Rochester.  The intended future of that building, however, is still unknown.

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