Former Brown College Campus Under Consideration for Interim Use by Minnehaha Academy

August 23, 2017 12:45 PM

During a special planning commission meeting Wednesday, the City of Mendota Heights will consider an interim use permit at the former Brown College campus for use by Minnehaha Academy.

Lease details have been under negotiation since the Aug. 2 fatal explosion at Minnehaha Academy's upper campus.

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RELATED: 2 Dead After Minnehaha Academy Explosion

The proposed permit would allow grades nine through 12 to use the campus at Sanford-Brown College for up to two school years.

So far, the city hasn't received any objections.

The council must decide whether the temporary use permit would cause serious traffic congestion, hazards or other problems. However, only 350 additional students and 50 additional staff members would use the building temporarily.

After taking feedback from parents, the academy's president said most parents were willing to travel at least five to 10 miles from the original site in Minneapolis. The former Brown College is seven miles away and was un-occupied as of June.

"We asked our parents what was important to them, what was important to them as far as finding that interim location and our families said number one, we want our 9-12 students together (and) they wanted a quality location," Donna Harris, Minnehaha Academy president, said.

The special planning commission will discuss the permit at 6 p.m., right before the city council takes a vote.

Academy administrators hope to get those students started on Sept. 5. Those who attend the academy’s lower and middle school start classes Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the explosion. On Monday, it released a finding that a maintenance worker attempted to warn people that gas was in the building moments before the explosion.

RELATED: NTSB: Maintenance Worker Tried to Spread Word Before Minnehaha Academy Gas Explosion

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Rebecca Omastiak

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