Question and Answers
Holy Spirit Academy was excited to announce a major land donation at our 2020 Virtual Harvest Banquet. Please see the below questions for more information, and stay tuned for more updates.
We hope the following answers to some of the inquiries we may receive may help to bring transparency and clarity to our community:
1) How did the land donation come to be? What exactly was donated?
We trust that the Holy Spirit inspired the right people to make the land donation come to fruition. Father Michael Becker, an HSA Advisory Council Member, has been an instrumental and faithful guide in the process. Hilmer Hartman, the land donor, had been a lifelong farmer in the Dayton area and a faithful and involved citizen in the community. He had long desired a Catholic high school to built on his property. His donation of 95 acres was finally received and recorded on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13th of 2020. Hilmer died two days later on the Feast of St. Isidore the Farmer, May 15th. Holy Spirit Academy is grateful to Hilmer for his generous gift and to have the opportunity to consider this donation as part of our strategic planning as we move into the future and consider the school’s needs in the coming years with increasing enrollment. The land location is approximately 17 miles from Holy Spirit Academy and is adjacent to the communities of Otsego and Rogers and across the Mississippi River from several North Metro communities like Ramsey, Anoka, and Coon Rapids that could be additionally served by our growing school. The Archdiocese has been made aware of this donation.
2) How is this donation affecting the school in the short term? How will it affect currently enrolled and prospective families?
This land donation should not have any immediate or short term affect on our currently enrolled and prospective families. St. Henry’s has been a very welcoming home to Holy Spirit Academy for almost seven years and we look forward to continuing our leasing relationship with them as long as our enrollment coincides with the church’s space provisions. We continue to communicate with parish leadership and will remain transparent as we work through our strategic planning process. It also is important to school leadership that the culture and mission of Holy Spirit Academy are maintained through any phases of growth that we may experience. The donated land is mostly maintained as crop farmland and will bring some rental income to the school in the short term.
3) How will the HSA community be part of the planning? Who will be involved in this project?
We will begin our exploration of the use of this donation by doing a planning study with an experienced local professional affiliated with Cornerstone Development Strategies. This will allow community members to offer insight into the process and contribute to the future of Holy Spirit Academy. As the need arises in the future, a Building Committee would be formed from the Facilities Committee that reports to the Board of Directors currently.
4) What is our timeline? What will we need to fundraise?
We do not have a current timeline on this project and will be informing the community when the planning study commences so as to involve as many people as possible. We also do not have a current fundraising total, but will always welcome discussions with community members about how they might contribute in various ways to see any kind of a building project to completion. The Board of Directors trusts in the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit in this endeavor and places all the needs of the school in the capable hands of Our Blessed Mother Mary.
5) What can I do now that I know about this land donation?
Please pray for the proper use of the donation as coincides with God’s will. Prayer will be necessary every step of the way and will help to make any necessary transitions as smooth as possible. Please take part in the planning study when it is announced and share the good news with others. The more reach we have as our community grows the more likely we will be able to succeed in giving God glory through Holy Spirit Academy and fulfilling our mission. Trust that the Board will share further information as it is presented in the coming years. Veni Sancte, Spiritus!