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Fargo School District in midst of 3-way land deal to secure space for future high school

School district officials are getting close to finalizing a deal to purchase 75 acres of land from Sanford in south Fargo for about $11 million. Once the school district owns the Sanford property, the plan is to trade the 75 acres to A&T Land Co. in exchange for 63 acres of land A&T Land Co. owns. The A&T land is valued at about $17 million.

A boxy, gray building with two floors and lots of windows.
The administration building for Fargo Public Schools in south Fargo in June of 2022.
David Olson / The Forum
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FARGO — The Fargo School District is in the midst of a three-way land deal, the goal of which is to obtain space for a future high school.

School district officials are getting close to finalizing a deal to purchase 75 acres of land from Sanford in south Fargo for about $11 million.

Once the school district owns the Sanford property, the plan is to trade the 75 acres to A&T Land Co. in exchange for 63 acres of land A&T Land Co. owns. The A&T land is valued at about $17 million.

112222.N.FF.LandSwapNewWeb-01.jpg

In addition to the land swap, the school district would pay A&T Land Co. about $6 million to make up for the difference in the dollar value of the two properties.

That $6 million figure would be the cash cost to the school district after A&T Land Co. gives the school district a $500,000 discount on the value of the land it conveys to the school district.

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The $500,000 discount is described by school officials as a "charitable contribution" to the school district.

The Fargo School Board approved an exchange agreement with A&T Land Co. at its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The agreement is contingent on the school district finalizing a deal with Sanford.

The property currently owned by A&T Land Co., which the school district will ultimately own, is located in the area of 64th Avenue and 45th Street South.

Future high school site

Fargo schools Superintendent Rupak Gandhi said the district's long-range plans anticipate a new high school could someday be built on the land the district will get from A&T Land Co.

He added that the location is attractive for a number of reasons, including its proximity to a new sports complex the Fargo Park District is building in the area of 61st Avenue and 38th Street South.

sports complex concept drawing Phase II.jpg
This a work-in-progress concept drawing of what a completed Fargo Parks Sports Complex may look like with a Phase II aspect included.
Image courtesy JLG Architects.

Gandhi said the area will also be home to a large storm water storage complex that is being referred to as "Lake Fargo," also known as the Southwest Metro Regional Pond, which will be bordered on the north by 52nd Avenue south, on the west by Veterans Boulevard, on the south by 78th Avenue south and on the east by Interstate 29.

According to Fargo officials, the large pond is expected to provide recreational opportunities.

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Southwest Metro Regional Pond 2.jpg
This image shows the first phase of the new Lake Fargo or what's officially called the Southwest Metro Regional Pond that will hold storm water from a 2,400 acre-area in the southwest part of the city south of 52nd Avenue. This is a view of the pond looking to the north.
City of Fargo drone photo.

Gandhi said the anticipated future home of the Fargo School District's fourth high school is also close to where a new workforce academy, known as the NDSCS Career Innovation Center, is now under construction at 4230 64th Ave. S.

The anticipated opening date of the academy, originally expected to be in the fall of 2022, has been pushed back due to numerous factors including supply chain issues. The latest estimates call for an opening in August 2023, though that, too, may be subject to change, according to a website that tracks the project's progress .

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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