Minneapolis City Council approves contract in demolition project for new public works campus

The Minneapolis City Council approved plans on Thursday to move forward with the demolition of the Roof Depot building as it makes way for a new public works campus.

The proposed project has faced scrutiny over the years from neighbors concerned with the health impacts of the new campus.

A group of activists rallied against the approval of the project at the council meeting, chanting at times "urban farms, not toxic harm." One of the biggest items of concern for activists has been the removal of a planned urban farm at the Roof Depot building and the increased pollution from heavy equipment the new facility would bring to the neighborhood.

When completed, the city says the new facility will consolidate city water distribution to one central site, replacing the existing 100-year-old facility.

The city says it will also improve the city's "responsiveness and delivery of daily essential services and lower operating costs".