Immigrant center will take Metro State space

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December 20, 2004 // UPDATED 4:56 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The Institute for New Americans, a nonprofit serving the city's refugee and immigrant communities, is moving into the City Place building at 730 Hennepin Ave. S.

The nonprofit will replace Metropolitan State University, which is moving in January a few blocks south to the Minneapolis Community and Technical College campus, 1501 Hennepin Ave. S.

The Institute for New Americans opened in 1991 and currently offers an adult basic education program for immigrants and refugees in Loring Park's Lincoln English Language School, 1730 Clifton Place.

The nonprofit also operates an adult English language immersion school, Abraham Lincoln Middle School, 1911 Nicollet Ave. S. The school has 300 students from 18 different countries, primarily Mexico and countries in East Africa and Central America.

Eight-five percent of the students are immigrants. The school has a contract with the Minneapolis Public Schools that allows the students to obtain high school diplomas. The school is considered an adult high school because most students are older than 18.

Most of the 63,000-square-foot City Place building will be used for the Institute's outreach programs and the adult basic education program, according to a report submitted by the nonprofit to the city's Planning Commission.

Less than half of the building will be used for the adult high school.

The nonprofit pointed out several benefits of the 730 Hennepin location in its report to the city, including its proximity to public transportation on which most students rely to get to work and to their classes.

The Institute also noted that the new location will improve the school's ties to the Downtown workforce, providing students with mentorship opportunities and businesses with trained employees.

Eriksson Commercial Real Estate, Inc., based in Minnetonka, manages leasing for the City Place Building for 100 E. 22nd Associates. Lee Lynch, chairman and CEO of Carmichael Lynch, an advertising agency at 800 Hennepin Ave. S., has an ownership interest in the entity.