Appeals Court Clears Way for Demolition of St. Andrew's Building
Tuesday, July 23, 2019 8:10 PM


A Minnesota Appeals Court on July 23 cleared the way for Twin Cities German Immersion School to demolish the former St. Andrew’s church building, and the City of Saint Paul issued a demolition permit on July 24. The school says it expects to begin demolition the week of Aug. 5.

Meanwhile, the school says it will open the building -- its Aula -- this Sunday to allow neighbors, former parishioners, school families, and anyone else to "say goodbye" to the building. School parents are organizing the farewell on July 28 from 1-2:30 p.m. There is no program, the school says, just light snacks, music, and time for reflection.

The fate of the building was sealed when a three-judge appeals court panel said Friends of Warrendale - Save Historic St. Andrew’s LLC, the name of the group trying to block demolition, indeed had to post a $1.9 million security bond, which it failed to do.

The appeals panel said Ramsey County district judge Jennifer L. Frisch was correct in requiring the Save St. Andrew's group to post the bond as a condition for keeping in place a temporary restraining order that blocked demolition. The judges said legal precedent and the state law under which the group was seeking to block demolition both allow a security bond -- and, in some cases, can require one -- as a condition of a restraining order. The judges said the group was not entitled to a temporary injunction without security, which is what the group was seeking.

Frisch issued that temporary injunction on July 15, which blocked demolition for a week. But the St. Andrew's group missed Frisch's original July 22 deadline to put up the money, and missed the one-day extension that the appeals court allowed as the group sought to overturn Frisch's requirement. The group's Go Fund Me campaign raised only about $10,000, which is less than 1 percent of what it needed.  See an earlier story on the court filings

Also, on July 24, the city's Housing and Redevelopment Authority gave preliminary approval to issue up to $9 million in conduit revenue bonds that the school can use to finance its construction project. A final vote is scheduled for Aug. 14.

Originally published July 23; updated July 26

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