Wednesday marks 1st day of classes at Minnehaha Academy's new upper campus

Updated: August 21, 2019 12:00 PM

Wednesday marks a major milestone for Minnehaha Academy.

It's the first day of classes at the school's new upper campus since a deadly explosion two years ago. 


School leaders have said they hope the new building can represent a new beginning for students and faculty.

"It will be a space that is nourishing to the heart mind and soul," Donna Harris, Minnehaha Academy president, said in a statement.

Minnehaha Academy staff hosted a celebration walk and ribbon cutting earlier this week, giving students their first chance to see the new building, before the start of school Wednesday.

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School officials said it's a "re-imagined space" that will meet the needs of future generations, while also integrating their history and legacy.

The deadly blast happened during summer break two years ago, as work crews were moving a gas meter. The blast killed a receptionist and a janitor.

The new upper campus includes pieces of the past, such as old bricks and memorabilia and a tribute to the lives lost.

The school also has larger, open rooms with more natural light.

Principal Jason Wenschlag said he hopes it will be a space where students can feel at home.

"That's a big part of Minnehaha Academy is that deep connection we have, that our kids feel a deep sense of connection with people; they certainly did to the old school and they will to this as well."

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