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Oops, my bad: Secret $10m school sale revealed on board member's blog

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A school board member has been left red-faced after he revealed confidential information about the sale price of Duluth Central High School on his personal blog.

Avid blogger Harry Welty wrote that the school district has agreed to move forward with a $10 million bid for the empty school property, a figure that being kept secret as part of a non-disclosure agreement with the buyer, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

The figure, which is well-below the $13.7 million the school was listed at, would have remained confidential until the sale was closed, the newspaper adds.

"Now let me put this into perspective: Ten million dollars isn't much for a district with nearly a $140 million dollar annual budget," Welty wrote in a blog posting Wednesday.

"Still, we won't be spending a quarter million dollars (three and half teachers) a year on the empty building's upkeep," he added.

In a subsequent blog post, a sheepish Welty admits that he was "bone-headed" and had made a "huge mistake". He said he would shoulder the blame if it meant that the deal fell through as a result of his disclosure.

The name of the buyer has not been disclosed, but the sale would include the Central building and two Secondary Technical Center buildings of the property at 800 E. Central Entrance.

Welty would not confirm the figure when contacted by the News Tribune, and also said the $10 million figure may have come from a separate, unrelated offer.

The school has been on the market since 2011, when it closed and students switched to nearby Denfeld High School. The Northland News Center describes the land as "prime real estate" .

Superintendent Bill Gronseth on Friday wouldn’t confirm the sale price to the News Tribune, again citing the non-disclosure agreement with the buyer, with a purchase agreement yet to be signed.

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