School district and community leaders gathered April 19, 2011 at the site of the new Minneapolis Public Schools Educational Service Center to celebrate their shared commitment to Minneapolis students and the growth and vitality of the community along West Broadway in North Minneapolis.
To commemorate the event, school and community leaders signed a 30-foot steel beam, which was installed along the front of the building, facing West Broadway Avenue.
The $36 million new center, designed to meet the future needs of families, community members and the school district, will bring together in one central location about 570 Minneapolis school staff members who are now located in four separate buildings.
“The new educational service center will serve as a beacon for the future success of our students and as a welcoming hub for all members of our community,” said Bernadeia Johnson, superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools.
Scheduled for completion by the summer of 2012, the service center will serve more than 1,000 students, staff, families and community members on a daily basis. It will house Adult Basic Education classes, a welcome center for families enrolling their children, and testing facilities for kindergarten and English Language Learner students.
“This is a great savings for our district,” said Minneapolis School Board Chair Jill Davis. “We will reduce our administrative space by two-thirds and save nearly $2 million a year in energy costs, repairs and maintenance.”
The new construction also provides a great economic stimulus to the West Broadway community.
“This building is a great investment for Minneapolis Public Schools and Minneapolis taxpayers, because it will make school operations more efficient and cost-effective. It is also great investment in North Minneapolis and in our children: it will bring 600 people to the part of our city with the largest achievement gap and reinforce every day that closing that gap is our highest priority,” said Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak.
Already, $7.1 million in construction contracts have been awarded to Women and Minority Business Enterprise firms and the project has exceeded its goal of 25 percent participation by minority and women owned businesses.
“This is the right project at the right time at the right place,” said Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels. “Our students are our future, and the new educational service center is a testament to our commitment to our youth’s continued success and the growth of our community.”
In addition, the Minneapolis School District and the Mortenson Development team will seek LEED Silver certification for the building, which will feature public transportation access, energy efficiencies, local materials and water usage savings.
“We are honored to lead a team of outstanding professionals to develop the Minneapolis Public Schools Educational Service Center,” said Tom Lander, vice president of Mortenson Development. “This project will be a model of environmental and financial sustainability, and will stand as a symbol of the rebirth of West Broadway.”
Mortenson Development and Legacy Management and Development Corporation are the lead developers for the educational service center. Urbanworks Architecture and Urban Design Perspectives are the architectural design team, and Mortenson Construction and Thor Construction are general contractors for the project.