Hmong College Prep Academy Plans Expansion
Tuesday, December 20, 2016 10:55 PM

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Hmong College Prep Academy’s site plan for its expansion.

Hmong College Prep Academy plans to build a classroom and office addition, football field and track, seasonal sports dome, and parking deck adjacent to its existing campus on Brewster St. just east of Snelling Ave. The charter school purchased 10 acres of what were mostly bus and trucking barns between the Snelling service road, Brewster, Pascal St., and the railroad right-of-way. The expansion plan, as proposed, does not require any zoning variances.

Hmong College Prep Academy opened in 2004 and now has 1,300 students in kindergarten through Grade 12. With the expansion, it expects enrollment to rise to 2,200.

The expansion is being supported through the use of conduit lease revenue refunding bonds from the City of Saint Paul’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

Major construction, which began in April 2017, will be carried out in two phases in 2017 and 2018. The expansion plans include:

  • A 98,500-square-foot addition of classroom, office, and gymnasium space west of the existing building, on what is now a school parking lot. The expansion will serve primarily as the elementary school.
  • 441 off-street parking spaces for cars and buses, including a two-level parking deck hugging the Snelling service road south of Brewster.
  • An 85,000-square-foot sports dome, locker rooms, and athletic field north of the railroad right-of-way. The 75-foot-high dome is expected to be inflated about half the year.
  • A football/soccer field, track, and playground south of Brewster, adjacent to Pascal. The plan, as proposed, does not include bleachers or a permanent sound system, but does include lights.

To received city approval, the school had to agree to install a sidewalk on the south side of Wynne Ave., which is along the north side of the existing school. This sidewalk would assist emergency egress onto Wynne. Neighbors and District 10’s Land Use Committee opposed this requirement for sidewalks in this location, primarily because it removed most of the existing trees and shrubs on the south side of Wynne. Some of this greenery is “volunteer,” but some of it was planted as landscaping at the request of neighbors to screen out the high school addition that the Academy built in 2012. It is unclear what type of fencing or greenery will replace what is removed. The sidewalk is being required from the Snelling service road east toward Arona.

Updated Aug. 28, 2017

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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