Minnehaha Academy school officials this week said they plan to rebuild its Upper School on its West River Parkway campus in Minneapolis.
The Christian school at 3100 West River Parkway was severely damaged on Aug. 2 when a natural gas explosion caused the center part of the building to collapse. The blast killed two people and injured nine others. Classes for about 350 students in grades nine through 12 were moved to a former Sanford-Brown College campus in Mendota Heights.
The school’s board of trustees vetted several options, including relocating the campus, but in the end determined that rebuilding on the current site was “the most viable option,” according to a blog post on the school’s website.
“We remain committed to reopening at the 3100 site for the start of school in the fall of 2019,” the announcement signed by school President Donna Harris and the board of trustees’ Chairman David Anderson reads. “Many decisions will be made in the next few weeks in a well-considered, but ‘flash track’ process.”
The board is now meeting with its architecture and construction partners, Cuningham Group and Mortenson Construction, to plan the rebuild.
“The renovation and reconstruction of the facilities provide an opportunity to re-imagine teaching and learning,” the statement said. “Faculty and administration are thinking about how desired enhancements to the educational programming can benefit students and teachers.”
A decision on the initial construction phase will be made in mid- to late March, and construction could start in June.
In addition to a new Upper Campus building, the plan calls for major remodeling and reconstruction of the facilities housing the Lower and Middle Schools.
Demolition of the 1913 and 1922 Upper School campus buildings continues.