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ST. PAUL-Plans are moving ahead to build the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center for Community Building in the city, a property valued at $25 million-plus and that would total 93,000 sf.

The building will be built on the site of Neighborhood House on the West Side. It was founded over 100 years ago by women from Mount Zion Temple who wanted to help Eastern European Jewish immigrants. The plan is to raze the Neighborhood House building early next year, then build the Wellstone complex, which will include an auditorium, a gymnasium, a cafe and a child care center. The Neighborhood House serves new immigrants to the area.

About $20.5 million in public money for the project comes from the state, the City of St. Paul and the federal government, including a congressional appropriation of nearly $9 million. The organization hopes to raise about $5 million in private money.

Officials plan to break ground for the Wellstone Center next spring, and expect it to open sometime in 2005.

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