Debris Removal from Minnehaha Academy Begins

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (December 5, 2017) — Crews will start clearing debris this week from Minnehaha Academy’s Upper School after the natural gas explosion that collapsed the center section and killed two people on August 2.

The school is owned by the Northwest Conference of the ECC.

The debris removal is expected to take about two weeks. The destroyed section “will be pulled down,” according to a school statement.

Because the athletics and arts wings were not designed to stand alone, they had to be reinforced before debris removal and demolition could begin.

The school already pulled up all the glass-contaminated grass on the soccer field, and new sod has been installed. Officials hope to have the field ready for spring sports activities.

Roughly 350 students in grades nine through 12 currently attend classes in a building that once housed a for-profit college in Mendota Heights that closed last January.

A plan for students to return to the original school has yet to be determined.

The explosion killed 47-year-old receptionist Ruth Berg and 81-year-old custodian John Carlson, and also injured nine people, one critically.

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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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