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Duluth Edison Charter School acquires Snowflake property

The Duluth Edison Charter Schools is now 170 acres larger.

That's after their building company made the $1.6 million purchase of the Snowflake Nordic Ski Center site adjacent to North Star Academy. The transaction is part of a refinancing effort of those properties, which worked in collaboration with the Duluth Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA).

"The timing was perfect for this," said Bonnie Jorgenson, the head of school. "Because of the market rate, we were able then to get the additional money for the purchase."

That additional money, to the tune of $190,000, will go to the HRA budget to support community and housing opportunities. What used to be a property intended for a new high school, will now go to the charter school's plan of expanding their small education operations, giving more opportunities to its students.

That expansion will take form over the next three to five years, using a task force that will be put in place Jan. 1 of the new year.

"Our primary students have outdoor science every other day, where they visit ponds, do things in the woods and celebrating the seasons," Jorgenson said. "What we're doing is moving beyond that to even more."

Along with the collaboration with the HRA, the Duluth Edison Charter Schools' purchase has also entered their building company, Tischer Creek Duluth Building Company, into a license agreement with the Duluth Nordic Ski Club. The club, which operates a cross country ski program and a U.S. Olympic certified biathlon training center, have been in discussions with the building company since plans to buy the property began back in June.

"We first want the property (for) the use of the charter school, but also recognize what a legacy and asset the snowflake is in the community," said Paul Goossens, president of the building company. "We're excited to continue to invite them to use that land, to continue their programs."