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City Approves Sales of Campus

Last week, the City of New Brighton gave its final approval for United to sell the majority of our campus to Global Academy, a pre-K-8th grade International Baccalaureate Charter School. 
Many things were set in motion fourteen weeks ago when we announced our intention to move United’s campus, and the approval from the City of New Brighton is one of many milestones as we relocate. The process was informative as it gave a perspective on how this very intimate decision to sell our campus impacts a wide array of unrelated constituents with varying views.
To obtain approval for the move, we spent several weeks addressing questions from neighbors and city officials related to how United’s move might impact them. 
  • How would school bus traffic impact the roads? 
  • Where would the playground be located?
  • How would United’s students in Huenemann House interact with the charter school?
As we appeared before several groups of neighbor and city committees, I had the opportunity to listen to Helen Fiske, the Director of Global Academy discuss her excitement about their new prospective home. Helen talked about how the green space would offer areas for play and how the buildings would provide learning areas for their many programs. I could almost hear the sound of student laughter and excitement as Helen described the re-imagining of United's space. 
With the city hurdles behind us, our efforts will be increasingly focused on identifying and designing our new campus. Each of the transition committees, along with participants in town hall meetings, faculty, staff, and others have given input about features of the new space that are important.  The coming weeks will be spent negotiating a lease and working with architects and designers to ensure that our many requirements translate into the ultimate experience for United's community.
I had the opportunity this past weekend to visit Los Angeles and witness the seemingly endless array of mini tent communities under virtually every overpass and public space. It caught my attention that many of the spaces had been organized with great care and apparent forethought. It reminded me just how vital the processes of planning and intention are to our sense of being human. Intention and planning will play a critical role for all of us from now through the move in January of 2019 and beyond.

Dr. Lewis P. Zeidner

Dr. Lewis P. Zeidner is the President of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

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