Funds allocated to feasibility study for NHCC performing arts center

Brooklyn Park EDA approves $30,000 for study

The Brooklyn Park City Council, acting as the Economic Development Authority, unanimously approved the allocation of $30,000 for a feasibility analysis for a fine arts performing building at North Hennepin Community College.

The proposed building would be located across the street from the college, adjacent to the Brooklyn Park library at the intersection of West Broadway and 85th Avenue.

North Hennepin already owns this plot of land and has been working in cooperation with the city, Osseo Area Schools and Metropolitan State University to bring a performance center to this space.

The total cost of the feasibility study is $70,000. The remainder of the funding beyond the city’s contribution will consist of a $30,000 community works grant from Hennepin County and a $10,000 contribution from the three educational institutions in the cooperative.

An overhead rendering of the proposed fine arts performance building at North Hennepin Community College.

If the project is completed and approved, the proposed building would have an estimated construction cost of $55 million.

The city has been in discussions with the North Hennepin regarding this project since 2015.

Current plans for the facility would include a theater, concert hall, a smaller theater, as well as a studio and classrooms for visual and performing arts programming.

All three educational partners would utilize the building to offer more classes and expand their educational space. The facility could also host community and local performances, as well as larger national or international acts.

Barbara McDonald, president of North Hennepin Community College, said that the city of Maple Grove has also expressed an interest in the project, and other potential partners will be sought out in the near future.

While specific plans for the facility have not been finalized, McDonald estimated the space would have a capacity of 500-1,000.

The Minnesota State system, formally known as Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, which both North Hennepin and Metro State are a part of, would likely approach the state Legislature for funding, and will explore grants as a future funding mechanism as well, McDonald said.

Councilmembers Mark Mata and Lisa Jacobson said that project leaders should reach out to the Anoka Hennepin School District and explore the possibility of adding them as a partner.

“I’m really excited about this,” Jacobson said.

“I’ve always heard really positive feedback that we do want something like this in our community,” said Councilmember Susan Pha.

Mayor Jeff Lunde said the study is an important step towards understanding the costs and other aspects of the project.

“You have my support,” he said.