New Brighton OKs Pike Lake Kindergarten construction


Solomon Gustavo • At its July 24 meeting, the New Brighton City Council approved construction at the Pike Lake Kindergarten Center on 14th Street in New Brighton. Construction of two classrooms on the back of the building along the parking lot, the area seen above, is set to begin this fall and finish next summer. The project is funded by the $165 million Mounds View School District building bond referendum that passed in November.

Many New Brighton school-aged residents are funneled into the growing Mounds View School District.

District enrollment numbers reached a 16-year high last year with 11,190 students, up from 9,652 in 2010, according to the school district. 

The district’s projected total enrollment for 2024 is 12,740. 

In order to keep pace with the space needed for so many more students, a $165 million building bond referendum was put to a vote last November. It passed with overwhelming support that eclipsed 70 percent of the vote.

With funding in place, design work and construction on the 12 facilities set for improvement is being broken into three phases. 

Pike Lake Kindergarten Center, Island Lake Elementary School, and Edgewood and Highview middle schools are in the first phase. 

At the New Brighton City Council’s July 24 meeting, the council approved a special use permit for construction at Pike Lake, located at 2101 14th Street in New Brighton, which entails an addition to be added to the back of the school. 

The addition, which is more than 3,000 square feet, will provide two new classrooms, an influx of much-needed space. 

Paul Aplikowski of Wold Architects, the St. Paul firm that is handling all of the construction for the school district, said at the council meeting that construction should begin this fall and run through this next school year. Construction is set to be finished next summer, in time for the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. 

In a presentation to the council at the meeting, New Brighton city staffers recommended approving the project and explained that some trees cleared for construction need to be replaced, in accordance with city code; 10 shrubs will also need replacing. 

Pike Lake construction is planned for the back of the building. Next to the construction area is the parking lot, a skatepark, school playground and Freedom Park. 

Mayor Val Johnson expressed concern for “walkers” — children who hoof it to school — and for parents who routinely pick up their kids in that back parking lot after class. Council member Emily Dunsworth expressed a similar concern for how the construction may interfere with people at Freedom Park or the skatepark — and for how both parks may interfere with construction.

Aplikowski said the architect and construction teams will work to ensure the construction area is closed off and that safe paths are provided. 

 

— Solomon Gustavo

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