MINNEAPOLIS, MN (August 2, 2018) — Two hundred people gathered this morning at Minnehaha Academy to remember the two employees killed one year ago today in a gas explosion that brought down the center section of the Upper School and to look ahead as the first pillar of the new campus was raised.
The school is owned by the Northwest Conference of the ECC.
The explosion killed beloved staff members Ruth Berg and John Carlson. They were honored in words and song today.
Today also was a day for looking forward. A banner that read “Together We Rise” hung from the pillar. They are words that the Minnehaha community adopted in the days immediately following the tragedy.
School officials noted the text in Genesis 28: “So Jacob rose early in the morning and took the stone that he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house.’”
School president Donna Harris told the gathering of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, “There has been much beauty in the ashes, and we see that every day. And so, we have a bright future for our kids ahead. We have reimagined our school. Our community has come together in ways that we could never have anticipated. So, we are hopeful and thankful and joyful as well.”
Student Danyelle Robinson spoke at this morning’s ceremony and told the gathering, “It would be very easy to continue to dwell on the explosion, but I want you to know that we are so much more than that devastating moment. We are strong, resilient, powerful, and optimistic about the future. We have so much to look forward to and we are ready to share that message with the world.”
The campus will house students in grades six through twelve. Previously the campus was only for high school students. It is expected to be completed in time for school to open next year.
The school has held classes at Mendota Heights.
A reflection by school president Donna Harris will be published in the September/October issue of The Covenant Companion.