Planning and Design Work Continue

Planning and design work continue to move the campus improvement project forward.

With the application for the demolition permit, the City required TCGIS to identify all water and sewer pipes leading to and from the campus. The City requires that the Aula water service be capped before issuing the demolition permit. The water service work will be done on the Como Avenue side of the school in the upcoming weeks. Temporary water supply lines to the Aula will also be laid. The demolition permit will be issued once all this work is done.

The Facilities Committee discussed the Design Survey results at the Sept 11 meeting with some neighbors in attendance. (A summary of the design survey can be found on the building project website.) The Design Team discussed the survey in detail, and reviewed additional input from teachers with the Architect on Sept 19. The Architect will have sketches outlining the functional layout (size, shape, height, the basic "envelope") of the new building available for the School Board to review on its Sept 27 meeting. This preliminary outline is required for the City's Planning & Economic Development review of the project.

The Facilities Committee continues to evaluate other potential school locations as they become available. Three Board members and three Facilities Committee members toured the TIES Building at the corner of Snelling and Larpenteur in Falcon Heights on September 11. At 140,000 square feet, it is twice the size that TCGIS needs. While it does have 300 parking spots, it does not have a gym, a playground, or open green space. TCGIS discussed the outlines of a potential deal with the owner, which would have included the sale of the current Como campus to the TIES developer. Unfortunately, the developer is, at this point, not interested in purchasing the Como campus for a variety of reasons. The use of historic preservation tax credits didn’t help make the project financially feasible for this professional developer.

Another charter school also recently toured the TCGIS campus for possible purchase, but that school has decided not to purchase the Como campus.

A small number of Design Survey respondents expressed their willingness to lead a fundraising campaign to save elements of the Aula for preservation. The Facilities and Fundraising & Development Committees are discussing how to set up that independent fundraising committee and how the two parties would interact regarding preservation, possible art installation and timelines, etc.

Much more to come in the weeks and months ahead!

Nic Ludwig, Facility Committee Chair, Twin Cities German Immersion School

Ellen Thomson