, a Catholic pre-K through eighth-grade school in St. Louis Park with about 250 students, is set to expand.
City Council on Monday approved plans that will allow the school to add roughly 27,000 square feet of space, which will be used to build a new multi-purpose room, and install an outdoor grass play area, a basketball court and a playground.
The expansion is scheduled to take place in two phases. The first phase will include the demolition of four homes—which are owned by the school and currently rented on a month-to-month basis—and the leveling of the vacant land.
Sarah Mealey, the school's neighborhood liasion, said renters have been notified and will be out by early May. The entire first phase should be complete within the next several months.
The second phase will be much longer and more expensive, as this is when Holy Family Academy will add on to its building. No definitive timeline has been set, but planners have said they hope to have funding secured within the next three to five years. Mealey said the entire project will cost around $3 million, and a fundraising campaign will soon be kicking off.
Mealey said she is proud of the project's progress so far, including the fact that Holy Family Academy intends to recycle much of the material from the demolished homes, possibly by donating it to Habitat for Humanity.
She added that neighbors have been supportive of the school.
"We really appreciate all the input we've gotten," Mealey said.
Several council members expressed some reservations over losing the four single-family homes from the community, but they ultimately approved the project 6-1, with Steve Hallfin opposed.
Holy Family Academy opened in 1958, closed in 1991, then reopened 10 years later. It is affiliated with , which is located across the street.