Sibley Elementary School expansion begins; construction permit snafu resolved

Sibley school expansion Site preparation has begun on the Sibley Elementary School expansion. Last week, construction permits were pulled because of a mixup. I didn’t see anything about it in last week’s Friday Memo so I phoned Jim Kessler, Northfield’s Building Official, and emailed Supt. Chris Richardson for details. I’ve not yet heard back from Kessler but Richardson wrote: (continued)


Chris Richardson My understanding from the city is that they inadvertently issued building construction permits for a project that because of its size (over $100,000 cost) and nature (public school addition) should have been issued by the State of Minnesota.  As a result the city construction permit costs will be refunded and application for State permits have been made by the general contractor. 

After meeting with school administrators on Wednesday, City representatives met with State officials on Thursday afternoon and shared the Plan Review that had been completed by the City.  The State indicated that the City’s Plan Review will be accepted and no additional State Plan Review will be required. 

It is anticipated that State permits will be issued within a few days and verbal authority to begin construction has been given by the State.  Because final site work is still being completed and no construction work had begun on the addition,  any additional time required to obtain State permits will have no impact, whatsoever, on the timeline for construction of the addition.


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    A reader wondered to me this morning:

    • Aren’t many (most?) construction projects in Northfield over $100,000, eg, new homes?
    • Why is the City of Rosemount handling all future site inspections?
    August 25, 2009
  2. mike paulsen said:

    Aren’t many (most?) construction
    projects in Northfield over $100,000,
    eg, new homes?

    New homes aren’t public buildings. It’s the combination of a public building (school, hospital, nursing home, etc.) AND the $100,000 which necessitates a state plan review.

    Google suggest that MN Statute 16B.60 Subp. 6 is most likely where one would find this spelled out in more detail.

    August 27, 2009
  3. Ray Cox said:

    Griff, I don’t know for sure, but I suspect this has more to do with city personnel than other issues. Northield probably does not have an individual with the proper licensure to do the plan review and issue the permit. I suspect the City of Rosemount does and that Northfield may simply be contracting with Rosemount to do the work.
    In the past Northfield has issued many permits for projects over $100,000 that are also public or quasi-public. Examples are banks, restaurants, etc. They all require state approval by the health departments, but then local governments can issue the building permit itself as long as they have the properly licensed people on staff.

    August 29, 2009
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Ray. I’ve got a call into Jim Kessler to get more info.

    August 31, 2009

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