A First Look at the Layout of Temporary Minnehaha Academy

August 24, 2017 07:10 PM

The principal and president of Minnehaha Academy shared their future plans for school's Upper Campus Thursday.

A deadly explosion destroyed part of a building there earlier this month. And on Wednesday night, the Mendota Heights City Council unanimously approved a permit - allowing the school to use the former Sanford-Brown College building as a temporary space.


Temporary meaning for a maximum  of two years.

That means in 12 days, students in grades 9-12 will be in a new building in Mendota Heights.

"When I walked into Brown College, I thought this is a doable place," said Minnehaha Academy president Dr. Donna Harris. "It is a modern building that had been used as a school."

Two wings will separate the grades - with the middle of the building housing the media center and student-lounge area.

"Student services, administration, we'll all be right here in this tight little area," said principal Jason Wenschlag. "It will be very unique, and I love the kids so I think that will be fun for us."

The building does not have lockers for students. They'll use hooks in their homeroom classrooms.

There's no gym, so the school will focus on the health and fitness classes they already offer. There is a weight and fitness area.

It also doesn't have a kitchen, so food will be brought into the newly transformed cafe.

A chapel also needed to be created.

"This space was cleared out," Wenschlag said. "5,600 square feet. We'll have a bunch of chairs here for chapel and some different seating over here for the cafe."

Students and staff attended a school roundup Thursday where they got schedules and said prayers.

The school posted pictures on social media, using the hashtag #TogetherWeRise. It's the theme heading into a new school year.

"Normalcy is coming around," Wenschlag said. "Now that we have a space, school starts September 5, I think they're (students) feeling pretty good about things." 

The school is still not able to use any part of the old campus, including fields. So athletic events will take place in other locations.

As for transportation, the school will have a shuttle that goes back and forth each morning and afternoon between the Lower/Middle campus and the Mendota Heights location.

There will also be vans picking up students in some suburban locations.


Jessica Miles

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