On Saturday, the church opened its latest mega-center – or “Ideal Organization” – at the corner of Wabasha and Exchange streets in downtown St. Paul, adjacent to the Fitzgerald Theater.
The three-level, 82,000-square-foot building occupies the old west building of the Science Museum of Minnesota and encompasses dozens of classrooms, seminar rooms, video rooms, a coffee shop, two saunas, a bookstore and 300-seat IMAX theater, which is now a chapel, conference center and concert hall.
The building, which opened in 1979, most recently housed a charter school, the Minnesota Business Academy, which closed in 2006.
Erin Banks, a spokeswoman with the Church of Scientology International, said the “dinosaur-sized” site is the 25th fully outfitted new “Ideal Org” the church has opened worldwide in the past five years, and the largest Scientology center in the Midwest. Others opened this year in Tampa, Fla.; Moscow; and Melbourne, Australia; and another 60 mega-sites are on the drawing board around the globe.>>