July 2016 – Minneapolis, Minn. – Banaadir Academy located in North Minneapolis houses 300 students each day and is hoping to increase that number in the upcoming years. With the help of The Bainey Group and Krech, O’Brien, Mueller & Associates (KOMA) the school is expanding with a new addition that will provide 2 additional classrooms, offices, a new gymnasium with vinyl flooring, and additional boy’s and girl’s restrooms.
Banaadir Academy is a K-8 charter school connected to Minnesota Transitions Charter School. The school, which opened in 2007, focuses on providing linguistic studies and educational integration. The goal is to have students, many of whom come from east Africa, receive the same level of education as native English speakers and to provide a place that empowers children to successfully integrate into higher education in the United States. One of the ways the school does this is with the Newcomer Program. It is a class that helps students learn the English language and adapt to the logistics of schools in the United States. “This is a unique project in that the emphasis of the educational center differs from many schools,” says principal architect Brady Mueller, “it is really great to be a part of this project because of the positive influence it brings to the area”.
The addition at Banaadir is also unique in that there are a lot of contributors. The school leases its building which means both the school and the owner are actively involved in the project. With the location in Minneapolis there is a higher level of city participation, the preliminary development review process is very detailed including the color and texture of the exterior precast and the percentage of glass on a blank wall. “There are many moving parts to this project because of all the parties involved,” says Mueller, “We have the school itself, the building owner, civil, mechanical and electrical and the city all playing very vital roles in the development.” The project is currently in the construction phase with an estimated completion of spring 2017.