Construction to begin on business education building project

Construction begins the week of May 23 on the new business education building on the southwest corner of Summit and Cleveland avenues.

Construction to begin on business education building project

Construction will begin the week of May 23 on the first phase of the new business education building and an underground parking garage on the site of Christ Child Hall at Summit and Cleveland avenues.

The $24 million project will include a three-story, 75,000-square-foot business building, which will be constructed atop a one-level, 121-car garage. The project will take 15 months to complete, with the building and garage opening in time for the 2006-2007 academic year.

On Monday, May 23, construction crews will install a fence around the staging area, and the east-west alley at Cleveland will be closed. The alley will remain open at Finn for St. Thomas cars using Lot I, for the residents of the house at 2110 Summit and for residents of the 2085 Grand apartment building, who will park immediately east of the building at 30 S. Finn St.

Demolition of Christ Child and garages behind the 2085 Grand building will begin Thursday, May 26. Opus Northwest, the project contractor, estimates it will take until June 10 to complete demolition, weather permitting. The site will be excavated over the following month.

Parking will be banned on both sides of Finn between Grand and the alley from Friday, May 27, until the end of the summer to provide more space and better sightlines for traffic, including some construction trucks that will use Finn as an exit point from the site.

Here are highlights of the project:

Construction crews

They typically will work from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, although their schedules may be extended to 6 p.m. during the summer to take advantage of the weather. Crews may work an occasional Saturday if necessary to stay on schedule, with shifts beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Opus expects an average of 25 to 30 employees on the site during the summer, with crew sizes slowly increasing and running as high as 100 beginning in November.

Construction vehicle traffic

The only entrance point to the construction site will be east of the 2085 Grand building. Grand will be used as the exit for larger trucks, including semis that will haul away demolition debris from Christ Child Hall in June, and will be the primary exit for all trucks after Labor Day.

Finn will be used as the exit for dump trucks, cement trucks and similarly sized vehicles during excavation and other summer activity. A chain link fence will be installed behind the west curb line of Finn between Grand and the alley during the summer to discourage Child Development Center patrons from wandering into the street. A flag person will be at the Finn-alley intersection during the summer to guide traffic.

Construction vehicles will use Grand and Cretin, usually coming from Interstate 94, and will avoid residential streets as well as Summit, Cleveland and Grand east of Cleveland.

Opus estimates it will remove 470 truckloads of demolition debris and 2,825 truckloads of excavated soil. Demolition debris removal will involve an average of 32 truck trips per day for two weeks, and the removal of excavated soil will average 94 truck trips per day for four weeks.

Dust and dirt mitigation plan

Opus will follow Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and industry standards in controlling dust and dirt.

The construction site will be watered as necessary to keep the dust problems to a minimum, and Grand and Finn will be swept and cleaned on an as-needed basis – every Friday and on Mondays through Thursdays depending on conditions.

During demolition of Christ Child Hall, debris will be watered and the trucks will be covered before leaving the site. During excavation, soil will be watered. Trucks carrying contaminated soil will be covered, and the material will be treated in an incinerator in Maple Grove. Other soil will be transported to various sites that need fill material.

Street closings or delays

Sanitary sewer and water hookups will be made east of the 2085 Grand apartment building next spring or summer. This process will take several days and will involve closing the westbound lane of Grand, but hopefully not the eastbound lane.

During that time, St. Thomas will work with Metro Transit to reroute its Grand buses to use Summit between Cleveland and Cretin.


St. Thomas now has 165 surface parking spaces on the “east” block and will lose 119 spaces during construction.

Residents of 2085 Grand will be provided spaces near Finn, and there will be temporary parking on the tennis courts to cover other lost spaces throughout the 2005-2006 school year. Construction workers will park on the tennis courts and walk to the site. Once the underground parking shell is completed in late fall, crews will park on site.

After construction, St. Thomas will have 225 spaces on the block, including 121 under the business building and 104 in surface lots. The Oasis Market site will be used as a 31-car lot until St. Thomas constructs an apartment building there.


If you have questions or concerns about the project, please call John Hershey, St. Thomas neighborhood liaison, (651) 962-6123, who will be the primary contact. Doug Hennes, vice president for university and government relations, will be the secondary contact, (651) 962-6402.