City seeks proposals to redevelop two firehouses

     The city’s first fire station could be demolished under plans for the city to give up two of its older fire stations.
     The city has posted requests for proposals for two of Eagan’s fire stations: Fire Station #1--the city’s oldest fire station, on Rahn Road--and Fire Station #5 on Galaxie Road.
     The fire stations have not been placed up for sale yet, rather city officials are looking for proposals of how potential buyers would use the property. One of the properties, the fire station on Rahn Road, contains asbestos. A preliminary evaluation of the asbestos content of the building, which did not consider the roof or area behind the walls of the facility, estimated the cost of asbestos removal at about $8,000.
     The deadline for proposals for the two fire stations is 4 p.m. July 31.
     Fire Station #1, at 3940 Rahn Road, is the city’s first fire station. It was built in 1963. The station is located in a fairly commercial area not far from Cedar Grove Parkway and the outlet mall.
     Fire Station #5, at 4701 Galaxie Ave., was built less than 30 years ago, in 1988. The station is near a residential area and surrounded by trees. There is concern about removing those trees if the site is redeveloped.
     Both properties are currently zoned as public facilities. The city expects to rezone them to limited business. The stations will be open for inspection by potential applicants on July 10.

Elementary school reading proficiency declines

   Reading proficiency has declined at Eagan’s elementary schools, according to data from the state department of education.
   Fewer than 75 percent of students at all of the city’s six elementary schools were proficient in reading in 2016, according to the Minnesota Department of Education. All the schools, except Northview Elementary, declined from 2013. Although Northview’s reading proficiency increased from 65.4 percent in 2013 to 70.4 percent, it was down from 2015’s reading proficiency level of 72.8 percent.
   The decline in reading proficiency is even more substantial from 2012 to 2016 but the state department said comparisons should not be made from 2012 because of a change in the standard used. Under the 2012 standard, reading proficiency rates were above 85 percent at most Eagan elementary schools.
   Oak Ridge Elementary had the lowest 2016 reading proficiency rate of Eagan’s elementary schools at 52.6 percent. Glacier Hills, a magnet school, had the highest at 74.2 percent, a decline from 75.2 percent in 2013.
   Pinewood Elementary, which had the highest level of proficiency in 2013 at 78.8 percent, showed the sharpest decline. In 2016, Pinewood’s reading proficiency rate was 70.8 percent, according to the state.

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