How Will Southwest LRT Affect Katherine Curren Elementary?

The former Hopkins school is in the perfect spot for access to light rail.

Katherine Curren closed in 1975, reopened in 1981 and then closed again in June 2007. It’s now being used by Ubah Medical Academy.

But the Mainstreet school could yet have another chapter in its 66-year history.

Katherine Curren is in a prime location to take advantage of light rail because it’s near the likely Shady Oak station site, city planners pointed out Tuesday at a joint meeting with the Hopkins School Board and district staff.

“That’s a pretty awesome property for its proximity to light rail,” said Kersten Elverum, economic development director for the City of Hopkins.

The location could make Katherine Curren the perfect way for Hopkins Public Schools to boost open enrollment. Families who couldn’t drive their children to school could hop on the light rail and get off within walking distance.

It could also be a prime redevelopment site should the school district ever want to sell that property.

This isn’t to say Ubah should start looking for a new home anytime soon. In April 2011, the School Board extended its lease with Ubah through 2017.

Yet the new agreement extends the lease close to the forecasted 2018 start of LRT operations. Don’t be surprised if Katherine Curren isn’t the subject of a few more conversations as that date draws closer.


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