The September 27 community forum, Dessert with Don, featured a powerpoint presentation of the anticipated construction specifics of the new Minneapolis Public School Educational Services Center, although I think we will mostly hear it referred to as the district headquarters. This building will be constructed at 1250 West Broadway, which is currently the site of Broadway Community School, between Fremont and Girard.
Lynn Littlejohn of Mortenson Construction gives the presentation and construction specifics. The building will be a state of the art, 175,000 square foot multi-level building. They will be seeking LEED Silver certification. It will play host to a number of uses including the district headquarters, the professional development location for MPS faculty, Adult Basic Ed, a Welcome Center and it will be open for various community events and functions. There is also a pdf with project information located here.
Ms. Littlejohn also entertained questions, which centered around minority contracting goals and parking issues. For the record, Lynn gives the minority contracting goals in this video above, but in the discussion that took place off camera, a concerned citizen urged Mortenson to stretch those goals and aim for higher percentages of minority contracting. City councilman Don Samuels urged them as well, asking them to make this project the highest percentages of a major construction project in the city ever to be built. Lynn agreed and vowed to take the feedback to the development team and urge them to stretch those goals as far as they can, and make the goals in writing now be their base minimum.
Another question entertained pertained to parking. The project designs as they are right now include a large number of surface parking spaces, approximately 550 spaces, and a recent Minnpost article suggests that number is overzealous and unsustainable. For anyone interested, I have posted video, click here, of the parking discussion in which Mark Bollinger of MPS very successfully communicates how this building will have a constant flow of people coming and going at all hours of the day and evening. They have analyzed estimates of maximum visitors they might host for various functions. They anticipate alternative transportation methods to be encouraged and adopted by the staff, however that is hard to estimate at this time. They have tried to walk the fine line of having enough parking available and not having to flood the surrounding neighborhoods with cars on the streets. Additionally, they state that some of the parking surface area will be permeable, to reduce water run-off and to help them attain their green goals.
For those of us living in this community it is an exciting development to see this coming to our main corridor, West Broadway, and the renaissance is being pieced together before our very eyes. Thank you MPS for choosing NoMi as your future home.