Urban Ventures II Cristo Rey


Photo from cristoreytc.org

The Twin Cities Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and Urban Ventures’ Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center was the result of a faith-based partnership between the Urban Ventures Foundation, the National Jesuit Organization and local leaders in the community. Built in a blighted area of Minneapolis the Jesuit High School and its partner, the Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center, reaches out to inner city students regardless of race and economic background to help provide a quality education to students whose families face social and economic urban struggles.


The site was impacted from past activities of 3M and the Vina Auto Repair business formerly located on the site.

Environmental issues and the cleanup process

  • Approximately 7,800 cubic feet of metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbons impacted soil was excavated from the site and disposed in an industrial landfill.
  • Approximately 1,980 gallons of waste oil was removed and properly disposed during the site cleanup.

Redevelopment of the site

  • The Cristo Rey Jesuit High School was built which can serve over 500 local students. Acceptance to the school is regardless of race and economic status and participants receive a quality high school education which prepares them to go on to college.
  • The 160,000 square foot Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center is attached to the school and compliments the school facilities.
  • The center also provides a host of services for neighborhood kids and families of upwards of 25,000, many of whom do not attend the high school.
  • Cristo Rey students participate in the Hire4Ed program and enroll in college preparatory courses and work in a corporate office to help pay for their education and gain valuable work experience.
  • The facility contains a state of the art gym where students and local residents can engage in sports activities.

Environmental and economic benefits

  • The environmental impacts to the site were rectified so that a safe development could be accomplished given the nature of the proposed development.
  • The redevelopment of this former blighted site has added a high quality educational and leadership facility which has greatly improved the area.
  • The Cristo Rey High School and the Colin Powell Leadership Center provide neighborhood residents a safe place to pursue educational and career goals.
  • The facilities’ goal is "to raise up a new generation of urban leaders that are excellent: educationally, technically, morally and vocationally" who can act as role models and leaders who can work to revitalize their neighborhood and the larger community

Colin-Powell-293 cropped

Institutional controls

No institutional controls were required for this site after the soil excavation and waste oil removal were completed.

Project partners

  • The Cristo Rey Jesuits and the Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation
  • Ryan Companies and Braun Intertec provided devices for the project.
  • Best Buy Foundation contributed $500,000 to the project.
  • Client, LLC provided technical advisory services at the start.
  • Karen Kromar was the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency project manager and John Betcher was the technical analyst.