Minnehaha Academy Unveils Design Plans For Upper School

March 09, 2018 06:08 PM

Leaders with Minnehaha Academy have unveiled the preliminary designs of the new Upper Campus that was destroyed by a natural gas explosion last summer.

RELATED: Minnehaha Academy's Upper School to be Rebuilt at Existing Site


The renderings, provided by Cuningham Designs, show state-of-the-art facilities that complement the existing, historic brick structures that remain on site, said Minnehaha Academy president Dr. Donna Harris.

"It's a complex process, having to think about rebuilding a school that was built in 1913," Harris said during a press conference Friday.

The design features two brand-new buildings that face the Mississippi River and attach to the existing Fine Arts building and Sports Complex. In the center, architects created an open-air roof terrace space. That area is where the explosion occurred.

"The plans do not have us rebuilding in the same location, the same footprint of the buildings that we lost so that space has become a memorial space for us," Harris said.

Harris said the details of the memorial have not been decided yet.

"We know it will be beautiful and it will draw people to that space," Harris said.

RELATED: Treasures in the Rubble at Minnehaha Academy

The projections would add nearly 100,000 square feet to the existing campus. Judith Hoskens, chief architect on the project, said the rebuild will focus on open-concept classrooms and flexible spaces for students, as well as an exterior appearance that compliments the historic brick that remains standing.

"The students themselves asked that we both balance the history as well as provide something that looks forward to the future," Hoskens said.

When asked about a timeline, Harris said they hope to begin construction in June and are still focused on having the school open for students in the Fall of 2019.

RELATED: Cooper Neighborhood Rocked by Minnehaha Academy Explosion 


Kirsten Swanson

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