Updated: 04/28/2014 11:51 PM
Created: 04/28/2014 9:54 PM KSTP.com
By: Cassie Hart
A Twin Cities Catholic school voted to sell off its front lawn to fund endowment, financial aid, debt reduction, infrastructure improvements and staff support.
The Academy of Holy Angles board of trustees voted 16-4 Monday, approving a proposal by Semper Development to purchase a piece of land on the eastern edge of the campus for $5,675,000
The property is along Nicollet Avenue and 66th Street in Richfield. The private school says this could help them start an endowment fund and make repairs.
“We need to keep Holy Angels affordable,” said Shannon Mayer, chair of the board of trustees. “This project helps us keep a check on tuition and lets us provide more financial aid for families who would otherwise be unable to send their children here. It lets us pay down some of our debt that limits our financial flexibility and lets us create a permanent endowment for the first time in our history. It lets us invest in our infrastructure where we have critical needs in our physical plant. And, it allows us to invest in our remarkable faculty and staff.”
The space would be converted into retail buildings like a bank, a drug store and a yogurt shop, so the project would eventually need Richfield city approval for rezoning.
Some alumni were supportive of the idea, but others were skeptical. There's concern about the traffic and activity it could bring to campus. Others say the east lawn is a focal point of campus and an important piece of history.