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An agency that has worked for 20 years to clean up rivers and lakes in the east metro plans to move to newer, more energy-efficient digs in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood.

The Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) will convert the former MacQueen Equipment building at 595 Aldine St. into its new headquarters. The work will start in March and is expected to be complete in the fall. The project will also showcase innovative stormwater management practices and energy efficiency, conserving natural resources and protecting the Mississippi River in the process, officials said.

The $7.2 million project is being financed through the sale of municipal bonds.

The headquarters will also include a watershed learning center that will allow officials to demonstrate ways to protect, manage and improve regional water resources, including Como Lake, Crosby Lake, Loeb Lake, Lake McCarrons and the Mississippi River. One highlight will be a small park at the northeast corner of the property, used to provide green space to the neighborhood and share information about the district’s work.

“Our new offices will provide a flexible workplace to accommodate our organization’s growth without the need to acquire additional building space,” said Mark Doneux, administrator of the CRWD. “Plus, the uniquely designed workplace will provide all the space, equipment and support systems in one location that CRWD staff members need to excel at their jobs.”

The CRWD was created in 1998 to manage and protect part of the Mississippi River basin. Funded with property taxes paid by Ramsey County residents, it covers 40 square miles, including portions of Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Maplewood, Roseville and St. Paul. It’s governed by a five-member board of managers appointed by the Ramsey County Board.