One Month After Explosion, Minnehaha to Resume Classes

Minnehaha Academy students handed out Dilly Bars to construction crews.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (September 1, 2017) – One month after the fatal explosion that killed two people and injured several others, Minnehaha Academy will open its high school in a temporary facility on Tuesday.

This weekend, members of the Minnehaha community will deliver books, supplies, and other items to the school. A building dedication and prayer service will be held at the site from 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday.

The Academy is leasing a building in Mendota Heights that once housed Brown College, a for-profit school that closed its doors in January. Minnehaha president Donna Harris praised contractor Mortenson Construction and the architectural firm ATS&R, who “have done an enormous amount of work within a very compressed window of time to ensure we make our September 5 start date.”

Mortenson committed up to 40 workers per day working 12-hour days to finish the project.

Since work began at the new site, members of the Minnehaha community have sought to show their appreciation to the crews. Faculty and staff from the three campuses of the school, which includes grades K-12, formed a “task force” to bake cookies and other treats for the Mortenson crew throughout the construction period.

Earlier this week, Dilly Bars were handed out to construction crew members. John Carlson, the 81-year-old custodian who was killed in the blast, was known for giving away Dilly Bars to students.

Receptionist Ruth Berg also was killed in the explosion on August 2. According to authorities, the explosion resulted from a gas leak that occurred while a gas meter was being moved in the building, which opened in 1913. An investigation into the blast and subsequent building collapse is ongoing.

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Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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