RiverEast School Relocation
CONSTRUCTION TIMELINE (updated June 27, 2017; subject to change):
New RiverEast school address: 1055 Mackubin St.
January-February 2017: Abatement of prohibited building materials including asbestos in existing structure
February 2017: Perimeter fencing installed
February/March 2017: Partial demolition of most existing structure
May 2017: Soil remediation to address existing site contamination
May 2017: Construction begins; ground soil excavation for storm water management; soil excavation for building foundation
May/June 2017: Footings and foundation installed; Note: No soil contamination requiring removal has been found to date as of June 26, 2017
June-September 2017: Building exterior shell erected
November 2017: Roof installed (potential tar smell may occur)
November 2017-August 2018: Interior build out
Summer 2018: Exterior site work; landscaping; playground installed
September 2018: School opens
UPDATE - June 19, 2018: Construction at the RiverEast School, 1055 Mackubin Street, continues on schedule. While some finish work continues inside, much of the construction has again moved outside. Last week many trees were planted with more landscaping scheduled to follow. Additional concrete work is now in place, including a new sidewalk on Mackubin St. On the Kent St. side, a fence with brick piers is in the works and playground equipment is being installed.
UPDATE - Jan. 27, 2017: Outdoor basketball has been removed from the RiverEast site until or unless Saint Paul Public Schools and residents are able to find a compromise that works for both sides. Following SPPS’ formal response on Dec. 21 to neighbors’ “Wish List” (item 6b)” regarding outdoor basketball, SPPS was asked to reconsider its decision. SPPS agreed to let the District 6 Planning Council's Land Use Task Force vote on whether the new RiverEast School would include outdoor basketball. On January 24, Task Force members approved the following two-part motion: A) During the first year the school is open, there will not be a permanent outdoor basketball hoop on site. After the first year SPPS may request that a permanent hoop be added on site. B) SPPS may request the inclusion of a hoop during the first year, if SPPS is able to determine an effective way to provide outdoor basketball for students, while restricting use during non-school hours.
UPDATE - Dec. 23, 2016: SPPS provides a response to the “Wish List” of North End neighbors who live in the vicinity of RiverEast School scheduled to open in fall 2018 at 1050 Kent N. St.
UPDATE - Dec. 14, 2016: In fulfillment of its plan to relocate RiverEast School, Saint Paul Public Schools closed on the purchase of the property at 1050 Kent. N. St. on December 13, 2016. Two key milestones have cleared the way for SPPS to make the purchase:
1) On October 31, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) approved the district’s Voluntary Response Action Plan (VRAP) to clear the site of ground pollutants and safeguard adjacent properties and Loeb Lake, and;
2) On December 6, SPPS secured an agreement with the holder of the deed restriction, WestRock (formerly Smurfit Stone), affirming their intent to release the deed restriction within ten days of SPPS completing the environmental clean-up per the MPCA-approved RAP.
The deed restriction outlines the conditions that must be met by the purchaser of the property (i.e., SPPS) in order to have the restriction lifted. Those conditions are all related to the environmental cleanup that must be completed in accordance with federal, state and local law as outlined by MPCA’s approval of the SPPS RAP.
Once SPPS has the property title, building abatement and demolition will take approximately eight to ten weeks followed by full site cleanup per the RAP once the ground thaws. Demolition could begin as soon as mid-January 2017.
UPDATE - Nov. 2, 2016: Due to delays in the purchasing of the Kent St. property, the relocation of RiverEast School will be delayed one year and will be ready to open for fall 2018 instead of fall 2017.
The circumstances for this delay are related to the lifting of the property’s deed restriction. The district has submitted a proposal to WestRock CP, LLC, the successor of the original owner, Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation, to lift the deed restriction that was placed on the property banning non-industrial uses of the site.
Because a response from WestRock did not come in time to meet our original construction timeline, the relocation of RiverEast School had to be delayed. However, as of Nov. 1, SPPS did hear back from WestRock and we have reached a tentative agreement to proceed to work in concert to ultimately lift the deed restriction with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) approval.
Related to the cleaning of the ground pollutants on the property, SPPS has also received a response from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency accepting the district’s Voluntary Response Action Plan (VRAP) on its strategy for cleaning the site.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION - Frequently asked questions provided
On August 23, 2016, the Saint Paul Public Schools Board of Education approved the purchase of 1050 Kent Street N. as the new location for RiverEast school; see the BOE presentation (Aug. 23, 2016). RiverEast School’s relocation site was selected based on many months of research and the exploration of 41 different sites.
RiverEast is a city-wide, K-8 school that serves a maximum of 80 students providing a therapeutic and supportive educational environment for students with a mental health diagnosis.
View the SPPS presentation update provided to the District 6 Planning Council's Land Use meeting on Sept. 27, 2016.
Program focus: Provides a therapeutic and supportive educational environment for students with a mental health diagnosis.
Student enrollment: 80 students maximum
Small class sizes: No more than 8 students per teacher to provide individualized attention. Each classroom is assigned a special education teacher and two paraprofessionals.
Location: 1050 Kent St. N., Saint Paul
New building size: single story, approximately 68,000 sq. ft.
Variances: No city variances or conditional use permits are anticipated for this site
Architectural rendering of new school site; click on image for larger view: