Minnehaha Academy’s upper campus has a new, temporary home: the former Sanford-Brown College in Mendota Heights.
The Mendota Heights City Council on Wednesday unanimously voted to give the Minneapolis private school an interim use permit after a gas explosion damaged its high school building on Aug. 2, killing two and injuring nine.
The vote came in a special meeting; the school has scheduled a Sept. 5 start.
“We know that a community is more than a building, but it is important that you all be together,” said Council Member Liz Petschel before the vote. “I’m so glad that this building was available to make that happen for you.”
Sanford-Brown College closed in June after announcing two years ago that it would shutter. The school building will house the 350 students in grades 9 through 12, a Mendota Heights planning report said.
A Minnehaha Academy news release called the new spot “modern,” with large classrooms, chapel space and science labs. “The space is being intentionally designed with the needs of students and faculty first,” the school said in the release.
Data from parents, faculty and staff emphasized keeping and expanding academics, putting all upper campus students in one building and minimizing travel, said Minnehaha Academy President Donna Harris in the release. The new location is less than 10 miles from the original campus.
“It is an excellent facility that will best serve our students’ learning needs and provide an environment for the transformational Minnehaha Academy experience,” she said.
Students will still have busing and shuttle options, the school said.
Its lower campus began school Wednesday.