nd imagine green design andenvironmental sustainability as corefeatures of the expansive complex,which will deliver 180,000 square feet of newworkspace, creating a facility that providessome 6 times the space of the alreadyimpressive Glover Sudduth Center forNeighborhood and Economic Development,home of the Minneapolis Urban League,which occupies the northeast corner of theintersection.And visualize the historic Lincoln Junior HighSchool incorporated into the development,adding 60,000 sq. ft. of usable space forcommunity and district programs, plus anattached ramp providing 825 parking spaces.But wait…there’s more. Consider the value of a project that masters the art of leveraging,delivering more bang for the buck byintentional link aging of opportunitypreviously obscured by lack of imaginationand lack of political will.Enter Paul Bauknight, principal of the UrbanDesign Group, a design and architectural firmthat is competing for the $60-70 millionconstruction project creating a newadministrative headquarters for theMinneapolis Public Schools District.Uniquely, it’s Bauknight’s presence in thecompetition that takes the notion of organicsustainability to a whole new level.For not only does the Bauknight proposalpresent an innovative LEED Platinumcertified project, it delivers advanced Wasteto Green Energy Infrastructure that convertswaste to electricity, heating & cooling forbuilding. The result: a zero waste, zero carbonfacility.“The District has asked for a green solutionfor their new office building. We believe thatstandard green strategies are only the floor.We are proposing the first zero waste and zerocarbon school district facility in the country,”Bauknight said is his proposal to theMinneapolis School District.“By working with PLACE, a national non-profit who is pioneering the use of existingtechnology to produce environmentallysustainable communities at the highest levels,the new MPS building will have zero waste,zero carbon and free green energy for thewhole building valued at over $267,500annually,” he said, adding that the process,called e-Generation, will create at least 12permanent, living-wage green collar jobs forthe community.The proposal calls for Green roofs, orpermaculture self-sustaining ecosystemdesign through landscape and gardens, and agreenhouse on top of the parking ramp thatprovides year-round fresh fruits andvegetables. Bauknight said the new facilitywill create bridges between educational andacademic aspects of the District by becominga living educational resource.In addition, the Bauknight proposal team isthe only “minority-led” proposal underconsideration by the District. And Bauknight,whose architectural signature already dots theNorthside, is a long time Northside resident,and member of the Willard Homewoodneighborhood.
Bauknight envisions MPSheadquarters in Willard Homewood
Imagine a futuristic multi-story structure emerging to define anew Northside pride and progressat the Southeast corner of Penn & Plymouth Avenues in North Minneapolis’s WillardHomewood neighborhood.
Story Al McFarlane and B.P. Ford, The Editors
January 18, 2010