What is Grace Center?
Grace Center is a building owned and managed by a Minnesota 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization called Grace Center for Community Life. The vision for Grace Center is to create a community center of empowering and life-giving activities focused on education, faith, and service.
Current tenants include New City School (a public K-8 charter school) and Grace Lutheran Church, which sponsors the Little Kitchen Food Shelf.
Community groups use the gym for soccer and basketball evenings and on weekends. Other spaces are used by performing-arts groups for rehearsals, AA meetings, Girl Scouts, Girls on the Run fitness program, a quilting & crafts group, licensed food caterers for food preparation in the commercial kitchen, and community groups for meetings.
History of Grace Center:
Grace Center is located in the former Holland Elementary School, which was built in 1968. It is a two-story structure of 52,000 square feet, located on 2.9 acres of land. The school was closed in 2005 and sat vacant for five years. When the Minneapolis School District opted to sell the school property, three local churches merged, pooled their resources, and purchased the building in 2010 for their new church building, originally known as Northeast Community Lutheran Church, nka Grace Lutheran.
In 2009, the church and the Minneapolis Area Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) formed a nonprofit corporation (the NE Lutheran Building Corporation) to purchase, own, and operate the building. A board of directors, appointed by church members and the Synod, is the governing body. Since its origin, the corporation changed its name to Grace Center for Community Life. By 2012, Grace Center completed a major renovation and repair project that included the HVAC system, the kitchen, and a gathering place for worship. Since then, a significant landscaping project to remove blacktop and to infiltrate stormwater runoff via rain gardens has been completed. A new inclusive playground, “Fair Play,” was completed in 2017 thanks to generous donations from the NE Minneapolis Lions Club, a Hennepin County Youth Sports grant, and community members.
The vision for Grace Center is to create a community center of empowering and life-giving activities focused on three primary areas: learning, faith, and service.
New rain gardens and green space have reduced much of the empty cracked asphalt surrounding the building. In 2017, a new inclusive playground was constructed.
Little Kitchen Food Shelf
Fighting food insecurity by engaging volunteer’s energy and donations from the greater community to serve the hungry with respect and dignity.