Plans for a performing arts magnet school in the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District appear to be on hold after two board members walked out of a meeting Thursday night.

The board has been deadlocked this fall over how to roll out a high school magnet program that would be based out of the performing arts center under construction in Burnsville.

Board Members Vicki Roy, Susan Martin and Gail Morrison want to stick with the district's initial plan to have students divide their days between the arts center and Burnsville High School, where students would take classes in core subjects. But Ron Hill, Nancy Banyard and Dan Luth have pushed to have the district find off-site classrooms within walking distance of the arts center.

The board has talked about either making room for the magnet school in the Diamondhead Education Center or leasing space in a mixed-use building next to the arts center.

When Martin made a motion Thursday night to have district staff prepare a resolution to house the magnet program in the high school next fall, Hill and Banyard walked out, erasing the quorum needed to continue the meeting.

Luth was absent from Thursday's meeting because of a death in the family, board members said. A seventh member, Todd Johnson, who might otherwise cast a tiebreaking vote, has missed several meetings since he was diagnosed with recurring cancer this fall.

District staff members have said they need resolution on the issue soon if they are to market the program and launch it next year.

The board's next regular meeting is Dec. 11.

Sarah Lemagie • 952-882-9016