Senate #BuildMN Tour Visits St. Paul Bonding Projects in Sen. Hawj’s District

ST. PAUL, MINN. – The Senate Capital Investment Committee kicked off its final four-day Twin Cities metro #BuildMN tour on Tuesday. The first two stops on the tour included visits to project sites in or near Senator Foung Hawj’s (DFL-St. Paul) district.

Tuesday morning began with a visit to the Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul. The Ramsey County owned shelter says Dorothy Day is over-crowded and is forced to turn away people nearly every day. The Center is requesting $18 million for two new projects. The first project is a two-story Connection Center which will provide services for homeless individuals throughout the day that include meals, health and case management services. The second facility would be an Emergency Shelter which plans to address the shortage of emergency shelter options in the region.

“I believe in Dorothy Day’s mission of providing shelter and services to those among us who need it most; however I encourage public meetings about its proposed expansion before any plans are finalized” said Sen. Hawj.

The second stop of the day allowed Committee members to tour the Lower Phalen Creek Project located at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. Sen. Hawj is the chief author of this project in the Senate. The Sanctuary is an award-winning park that currently houses a vacant four-story warehouse that project leaders hope to turn into the Wakan Tipi Center. The project is requesting $3.5 million to turn the warehouse into a vibrant multi-use center. Leaders envision the center would include a Lower Phalen Creek Interpretive Center which will feature classrooms, exhibits and a small performance center, an Urban Oasis which leaders say would serve as a national model for the next generation of food hubs along with a premier event center and office space.

“I love the idea of such a unique and forward thinking multi-use center. The Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary is already a beautiful escape from the City, I think the Wakan Tipi Center will make a trip there even better by offering a diverse variety of cultural activities and learning opportunities,” said Sen. Hawj.

To learn more about these projects and other projects being considered by the Senate Capital Investment Committee, visit

Senator Foung Hawj
Foung Hawj represents District 67, which includes the east side of Saint Paul in Ramsey County in the central Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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