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City and school district swap buildings in St. Paul

City and school district officials in St.

City and school district officials in St. Paul have done some creative real estate maneuvering with a swap that will put unused buildings that weren’t being used back into use.

The deal was finalized Wednesday for the city to take over the vacant Franklin Elementary building and the schools to begin operating the Eastside Community Center.

Previously, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department had owned the Eastside Community Center, which is connected to Harding Senior High School. Merrick Community Services had used the space but is moving, and the city didn’t have another tenant. Now, the school district will have it available for Harding students.

Franklin Elementary was closed last year, and the school district had no plans to reuse it. It’s connected to the city’s Valley Recreation Center, operated in partnership with the Twin Cities Boys and Girls Club, which now plans to move into the Franklin building.

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Said Superintendent Valeria Silva: “This is another example of how the School District and City will work to identify creative ways to manage our services needs, while balancing the financial realities we face.”