Students head back to school at Minnehaha Academy for 1st time since deadly explosion

Students are heading back to class at Minnehaha Academy’s Upper School for the first time since a devastating explosion destroyed the building two years ago. 

In August 2017, a natural gas explosion at the school killed two employees and injured several others. The powerful blast leveled much of the main building, damaging other parts of the school as well. 

Since then, it has been a long journey for staff and students. Students have been attending class at Brown College in Mendota Heights while the school was being rebuilt. 

After two years of construction, Wednesday marks the first time classes will be held in Minnehaha Academy’s newly rebuilt upper campus. The new school features several tributes to the old building and the workers who were killed, including benches, lockers and original bricks from the more than 100-year-old building. 

Principal Jason Wenshlag most of the students that attend the school are only familiar with the temporary classrooms in Mendota Heights. 

“The senior class is the only class that has ever gone to school on this campus. They were here as freshman,” Wenshlag said. “They are really excited about bringing things home as seniors. 

On Monday, the school held a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house. The event looked to the future by honoring the past, opening three time capsules dating all the way back to 1912. 

Classes for the new school year begin at 8:30 a.m.