The Hopkins school board unanimously approved renaming the Lindbergh Center, a fitness facility co-owned by Hopkins Public Schools and the city of Minnetonka, at its March 15 meeting.
It is now the Royals Athletic Center, named for the school’s sports teams.
“I think it’s a great name,” said board member Steve Adams. “The rabbi who lives down the street from me, from Adath, will be happy.”
The facility had been named after famed Minnesotan aviator and inventor Charles Lindbergh, who was also an advocate of American isolationism during the rise of Nazi Germany.
As a spokesman for the America First Committee, Lindbergh blamed Jews for pushing America into WWII. He is widely considered to have been a racist and antisemite.
In June 2021, the Hopkins school board formed a committee to find a new name for the center. After two rounds of community surveys in partnership with the city of Minnetonka, voters settled on the Royals Athletic Center as the new name.
The Minnetonka city attorney is recommending that the city council also accept the name change, according to Alex Fisher, Hopkins’ director of community education.
The council is expected to do so at its March 21 meeting, along with recommending a name change to Lindbergh Drive, the road adjacent to the center.
“They’re looking at options with royal or royals in the name, for example, Royal Drive or Royals Lane,” Fisher said.
The city council was waiting for Hopkins to decide on the center’s renaming before changing the road. When asked why, Andrew Wittenberg, communications manager for Minnetonka, said it was “from a consistency point of view.”
The council “didn’t want to presume what the school district was going to decide to do [with the center], and if that would somehow impact the name” of the road, he said.
While unsure of the process the city will take for renaming, Wittenberg said it may not be an instant change. City staff has to inform any property owners with addresses on Lindbergh Drive about the name change and manage any mail or utility concerns that might come from the renaming.
But “I don’t anticipate it taking more than a few months,” Wittenberg said.