ROCHESTER - Mayo Clinic is helping the school district in Rochester avoid severe budget cuts and school closures with a $10 million gift.

Rochester Public Schools officials announced the gift Wednesday morning, as well as significant revised plans to streamline district operations. The district is no longer planning to close three schools, but will shuffle several schools and programs around as it deals with increasing transportation costs.

"This extraordinary contribution from Mayo Clinic means that we will not have to make reductions in next year's budget that would have been devastating," Rochester Superintendent Kent Pekel said.

School board Chair Cathy Nathan called the gift a needed bridge to avoid most of the $10 million in cuts the district was ready to make.

"It has weighed heavily on the board to know the significant budget reductions we were going to have to make this year," she said.

The $10 million donation is Mayo's largest gift ever to the district, but it's a temporary salve for deeper budget troubles. The district has cut $21 million over the past two years — a side effect of schools hiring more staff than needed as student enrollment hasn't met projections.

Parents and staff at Pinewood and Riverside elementary schools, along with Mighty Oaks Early Learning School, have publicly opposed the plan to close their schools for weeks, arguing the schools were necessary parts of the community.

Those schools will instead shuffle around — Pinewood will move into the same building as Longfellow Elementary and operate as two schools in one building, while Mighty Oaks moves into Pinewood's previous location. Riverside will stay in place, but a Spanish immersion program offered at other schools will combine and operate within the Riverside building as a K-8 program.

The district will also back off most of its transportation changes, though it will modify busing schedules to some of its districtwide option schools that enroll based on lotteries.

Pekel praised Mayo Clinic for the gift but warned that the district could reconsider those cuts, or more, if voters strike down a levy request the district plans to propose next year. The district is seeking at least $10 million for operational expenses.

Rochester schools will still move forward with some proposals such as creating a middle school Alternative Learning Center for about 90 students and expanding a program for students new to the country from three to seven schools throughout the district.

Mayo's gift is part of $22 million in donations across its hospital network. Mayo officials announced Wednesday it also plans to donate $4 million to housing efforts in the Rochester area, as well as match local Salvation Army donations up to $100,000 and future funding for the Landing MN homeless shelter.

The hospital also plans to donate $5 million to efforts to reduce homelessness in the Jacksonville, Fla., area, $2 million for nonprofits in Arizona and about $900,000 to various nonprofits in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.