February 24, 2018 11:33 PM
A south Minneapolis mosque is planning an expansion, but it could be awhile before construction starts.
City leaders approved a zoning change Friday that will allow the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center to add an additional building to their property in the Midtown-Phillips neighborhood, as well as renovate the space that's already there.
"We are growing, the community is growing," said Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center Executive Director Abdullahi Farah, adding that thousands of people use the mosque and its lecture halls weekly.
However, the portion of the building the mosque plans to expand into is vacant.
"We don't use, right now, 30 percent of the building," Farah said. "So we want to integrate that part of the building into something our community can benefit from."
The plans include new classrooms for a K-12 school, a large gymnasium and a multi-purpose space. He said the additions are geared toward providing a better education and experience for children.
"Right now, the kiddos don't have a gym, a place where they can exercise, where they can play," Farah said. "They don't have a place for outdoor activities."
City documents explain the mosque has until 2020 to complete the expansion and renovation. Farah said that gives mosque leaders a tight timeline to work with.
"Since we are a non-profit organization, it depends on the donations," Farah said.
Even with those challenges, he added the project has the potential to add value to the entire neighborhood.
"The community is feeling very happy about the project, because it's been overdue already," Farah said.
There is currently no timeline for when construction will begin.
Updated: February 24, 2018 11:33 PM
Created: February 24, 2018 08:33 PM
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