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Construction wraps on Phase I of $14 million St. Paul community center

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The first phase of a $14 million, 40,000-square-foot community center in a economically distressed part of St. Paul has been completed, its builder announced Tuesday.

Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. said the Arlington Hills Community Center at 1200 Payne Avenue on St. Paul's East Side is well on the way to completion with the wrap-up Phase I, which includes the new Arlington Hills Library and Arlington Recreation Center.

The new center was the site of St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman's State of the City speech Monday, in which he hailed the project as a "first-of-its-kind site as an example of how the city is committed to growing and evolving for a better tomorrow."

“Almost a decade in the making, this center is a $14 million investment in the future of the East Side and its families," he said. "What was once a corner anchored by a small hardware store and an obsolete 1970s-era rec center will soon be a center of innovative learning and youth development."

Construction began in April 2013 and is being built using B3 Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines (MSBG) to meet sustainability goals, Kraus-Anderson said in a statement.

A grand opening is set for May 22.

The second phase of the community center is being privately developed by Arlington Hills Lutheran Church, Bradshaw Celebration of Life Centers, Eastside YMCA and other community service organizations. They are still attempting to line up financing for the effort.