Independent School District #318 (ISD #318) is proposing the construction of a new elementary school in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, to ease overcrowding in the district. In order to construct the new school (the Proposed East School), approximately 6.22 acres of land within the Grand Rapids Sports Complex would need to be converted from park land. The area to be converted includes a parking lot, soccer field, playground, and open space. The loss of park land would be offset by the purchase of a 1.4 acre private park located within Grand Rapids.
The proposed replacement property is currently a privately-owned park consisting of green space and trails that is open to the public. The Grand Rapids Sports Complex has received funding assistance through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which was established to provide public outdoor recreation opportunities.
Converting LWCF-funded park land to non-recreation use requires approval by the National Park Service (NPS). The NPS requires an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the conversion proposal be prepared and posted for public comment for a period of no less than 30 days. This EA, along with any substantive comments received, will be provided to the NPS. The EA is available at the link below.
Environmental Assessment Administrative Draft (53 pages, 7 MB, March 2019) Proposed East Elementary School Site, Grand Rapids, Minnesota