Legacy can keep portable classrooms

Legacy Christian Academy (LCA) has permission from the city of Andover to continue utilizing subordinate classroom structures for the next three years or until the school moves to Ramsey.

The Andover City Council will allow Legacy Christian Academy to use these two subordinate classroom structures for another three years or until the school can build its planned facility in Ramsey. Photo courtesy of city of Andover

The Andover City Council will allow Legacy Christian Academy to use these two subordinate classroom structures for another three years or until the school can build its planned facility in Ramsey. Photo courtesy of city of Andover

The Andover City Council on a 4-0 vote July 17 approved LCA’s request for another three-year extension. Councilmember Julie Trude was absent.

The school, which was once called Meadow Creek Christian School (MCCS), was first allowed to have these two subordinate classrooms placed outside its school in 2002, according to Andover Community Development Director David Carlberg. The initial term the council allowed was for five years.

MCCS purchased an Andover site at the northeast corner of 161st Avenue and Tulip Street in 2003 with the intention of building a new school there and vacating its existing facility by Meadow Creek Church along Bunker Lake Boulevard in Andover.

However, the school has had difficulty raising enough money to get this project done so time extensions were granted in 2007 and 2009.

Plans have changed over the last nine years. The school now intends to build on a site in western Ramsey north of Highway 10 and west of Armstrong Boulevard. LCA recently sold its 161st Avenue-Tulip Street corner property to the city, which is planning to build athletic fields there.

LCA still does not have enough funds to build a new school, so the school needs the two classroom structures.

After a brief presentation from Carlberg, the council approved the three-year extension.

The council had a lengthy discussion about these type of structures in late 2008 when Andover Christian Church requested and was eventually granted a time extension.

Before Dec. 2, 2008, Andover city code referred to these structures as “temporary.” Andover Christian Church put one of these structures on its property in 1998, so the council figured “temporary” was not the best word.

City Attorney Scott Baumgartner suggested the phrase “subordinate structure.”

The council in late 2008 spent some time discussing the inspection time frame of these structures. Carlberg told the Andover Planning and Zoning Commission at its July 10 meeting that the building and fire departments do inspect these two LCA subordinate classroom structures to make sure that city code is being followed and that the structures are safe.

Casey Breen, a member of LCA’s advisory board, told the commission that the school “stands excited with the idea of not fulfilling the three years on that (city) permit.” He said the move to Ramsey is a $32 million project and he believes the school needs to raise another $10 million.

Carlberg said if LCA moves to Ramsey before the new city permit expires Aug. 31, 2015, the subordinate classroom structures would have to be removed.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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