Equipment for former church demolition vandalized

Demolition of St. Andrew's moves forward in St. Paul

WCCO Radio Newsroom
August 13, 2019 - 10:39 am
Dont do it on equipment

Twin Cities German Immersion School

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Crews continue to dismantle a 90-year-old building that once housed a church, using equipment that was vandalized sometime before Tuesday.

The construction firm hired to demolish the former St. Andrew's church building reported to police that the phrase "Don't Do It" was sprayed-painted on four pieces of equipment.

A window on one of the machines was also completely covered with white paint.

Church services haven't been held at St. Andrew's for a decade, and the St. Paul-Minneapolis Catholic Diocese sold the property to the Twin Cities German Immersion School.

The school repurposed the sanctuary as a gym and cafeteria, but with a growing enrollment and other challenges to maintaining the building led them to develop plans to replace it with a new facility.

The demolition has been the center of controversy for several years, with people living near the building in St. Paul's Como Park going to great lengths to preserve the former church.

Neighbors and others pressed the school for an alternative to save the church, citing an emotional attachment to a structure where many attended mass and other religious functions.

An effort to designate St. Andrew's as a historic building failed earlier this year, leading to the demolition.

RELATED: Historic designation for St. Andrew's fails

All of the religious symbols inside the building were removed after the property was bought by the school.

Major demolition started with removal of the multi-colored tile roof.

School officials say the rest of the demolition process will most of the week.

They want the area cleared before classes start at the school in late August.

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