Maple Grove reviews plan for new Ave Maria Academy site

Approves 2012 audit

The Maple Grove City Council considered a planned unit development (PUD) concept and development stage plan for Ave Maria Academy’s new site.

The council also approved the city’s 2012 audit.

This and other action took place Monday, May 20.



City Planner Peter Vickerman presented the council with plans for a PUD concept and development stage plan for Ave Maria Academy private Catholic school. The applicant is proposing to construct a 35,000-square-foot private, elementary school serving grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

The new building would be located south of Bass Lake Road and east and northeast of Jewel Lane N. Currently, the school is located along W. Fish Lake Road in Maple Grove.

The new Ave Maria Academy building would be designed to accommodate 336 students and would have 15 classrooms, a library, gymnasium, dining hall and various support spaces.

The 91-stall parking area near Jewel Lane would be screened by a small berm with overstory trees and shrubs.

There would also be a playfield on the east side of the building just before the site drops toward a wetland and floodplain area. The building would be made of different colored brick with a large amount of windows on the south and west sides.

Mayor Mark Steffenson asked which direction the building could expand to in the future. The applicant said the building would expand to the north, toward Bass Lake Road. This would make room for a potential chapel and/or additional parking.

Councilor Phil Leith asked, “Are there any plans on expanding past eighth grade to the high school level?”

The applicant stated no because the board made a mission change to keep the school pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

The council unanimously approved directing the city attorney to draft a resolution approving the PUD concept and development stage plan, including all site plan components of Ave Maria Academy and the preliminary and final plat of Ave Maria Academy, subject to several conditions.


2012 AUDIT

The council also accepted the 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, otherwise known as the 2012 audit.

According to Finance Director Jim Knutson said the city had a successful and positive year in 2012 and continues to plan for the future development. He added, “The various Capital Project Funds also had extremely high expenditures as a number of infrastructure projects are underway in the developing portion of the community. From the financial side, I feel the most important points would be the additional revenue in the General Fund, and the continued financial health of the Special Assessment and Utility Funds.”

Total General Fund revenues for 2012 were $34,461,084 (1.2 percent over budget) with total expenditures at $34,435,492 (1.1 percent over budget). This caused the fund balance to increase by $25,592 in 2012. Knutson said the city has a number of funds that have reserves that are designed for the replacement of the General Fund assets.

The Water and Sewer funds had operating revenues exceeding operating expenses before depreciation for 2012.

“In summary, 2012 was again a very positive year financially and the financial standing of the city continues to be good,” Knutson added.



In other action, the council:

APPROVED the hiring of Derek Jacobson and James Ohnstad to the positions of Police Officer effective June 4, each subject to a 12-month probationary period.

ACCEPTED the resignation of Theresa Maas from the Arbor Committee effective May 20.

APPROVED having Community Development Director Dick Edwards as Acting City Administrator effective May 24 through May 29.