Dec 13 Report from the Construction Committees
Monday, December 12, 2011 12:35 PM


Report from Construction Committees

At this point, there has been one Construction Site Committee meeting (held on November 29th) and one Construction Steering Committee meeting (on December 6th).  Both of these committees value the input of the community.  Joel Stensrud, a Construction Site Committee member, has graciously agreed to gather parent’s questions and ask them on the Community’s behalf at the Site Committee meetings.  He will compile the Q/A and post it on the school website.  Please send your questions to Joel at:


Key facts about the construction:

Construction Completion Date: Summer 2013

Construction Start Date: Summer 2012

                Size: The Lower Campus Addition will be approximately 27500 sq ft of space bringing the total of LHCS Lower Campus to around 61000 sq ft.


Following is new information presented to the Committees.

Key facts from Facilities and Architectural Firm:

      The architect is considering 3 different site locations for the addition: The Northwest corner (where the portables are), the Northeast corner (attaching to the Media Center) and the Southeast corner (the front lawn).  Each site has associated pros and cons that the committees will discuss such as site soil conditions (number of pilings needed), proximity of spaces (i.e.  is the lunchroom close to the playground), storm water management, city setbacks, among others. 

      The architect is examining and will be explaining the pros and cons for both a 2-story and a 3-story addition.

      The site survey has been ordered as well as the soil borings -poor soils and high water tables of the site result in additional storm water management and also foundation and pilings to support the building.

      The architecture team met with the city about setbacks, height restrictions, storm water management and other city issues.

      There are Minnesota guidelines for optimal size of spaces in schools. The spaces in the new addition will follow these new guidelines, although not all spaces in our current school meet them (e.g., the new classrooms will follow the 900 sq ft size standard)

      The MPS District only allows for kitchens with warming capacity, not “cook-in” kitchens


Summary of Discussion Points from the Steering Committee:

      TARGET of the project is adequate space for a 5K K-8 Program with 2 campuses.  This means that there would be enough classrooms for 5 classes per grade (K-3) at the lower campus. (Although full day kindergarten is not going to be available in the immediate future the design will accommodate 5 full-day kindergartens in preparation.) After the addition, the Lower Campus will support a total of 20 classrooms for core grade instruction, space for the specialist classes (such as art and music), space for MinneapolisKids program and expansion space for “bubble” grades. This expansion space would allow the school to accommodate  a situation in which enrollment in ONE particular grade is high enough for an additional classroom.

      The Facilities Department will provide the construction committees with a document which includes the Minnesota school space guidelines

      The question has been asked:  Is this addition going to raise our taxes?  Through previous school board meetings we know that the funding the city already receives from current taxes does cover the expenses of this addition, there will be no need to raise taxes.


Key next steps:

      Site selection -one selection of the 3 proposed

      Space Program -what spaces are needed, how will they be used

      Preliminary layout (hopefully before Christmas)

      Schematic design in mid-January

      Approximately March 1 - to City Minneapolis for permit


Our next Open Public Forum will be on January 31st from 5:30-7:30 at the Lower Campus Gym.


Also Please Note:  The LHCS school website has a new webpage devoted to School Construction.  This will include the talking points of meetings, committee members, and soon will include a Question/Answer section.  You can find it under "About Our School" or use this direct link. ]

 A printable version of the previous article can be found by clicking the link below.