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(Left to right) Seniors Greta Hallberg, Anna Northenscold, Emma Melling, and Caelin Hobin pose for a photo in front of the new Mendota Heights campus on the first day of school. Photo by Diane Hallberg.

Adjusting to a new space

Talon staff discusses Mendota Heights site, mourns loss of north campus

Long, fresh hallways, jam packed with students that have found a new routine of moving from class to class. High top tables and red couches and modern designs and desks that always seem to be moving. This is the new Mendota Heights campus for the Minnehaha upper school students.

It’s not north campus. It’s not the same.

How could it be? North campus was a place whose walls were infused with decades of history and memories, halls that hundreds of students had walked through, classrooms that were places of learning for years. Many students’ memories from their time at Minnehaha were made in that building, on that campus. It is true that the strength of our community did not and does not come from the place where we gather, but all the same, to say that north was “just a building” is not entirely true. Though the word to describe the Mendota Heights location has often been “nice,” it is simply not the same, which is to be expected.

“I miss north campus,” said senior Laura Shea, a Minnehaha student since pre-school whose home is just a few blocks from north campus. “First of all I miss the convenience of it and second of all, I miss all of the memories that I have in all the different spots [around the building].”

With the Minnehaha Academy administration having signed a two year lease for the Mendota Heights location, and the prospect of design and construction of a new school, it seems that Minnehaha students will likely attend classes at the new site for at least two years. Though students can agree that the Mendota Heights location is obviously different than what they are used to, it is not an uncomfortable space nor one that the community need feel the urge to leave as soon as possible. The Mendota Heights location offers effective classroom spaces and a good learning environment, at least a temporary one.

There are a variety of factors that contributed to the choosing of the Mendota Heights location. Though some of the small complaints voiced about the new location have included a dislike of hand dryers and the fact that the windows cannot open, these issues seem to be pinpricks of bother in the grand scheme of things, when in fact a different location may have had a lot more downfalls.

In fact, it seems that for the most part, there are a lot of benefits that the Mendota Heights location can offer to students and the community in general. The building that used to house Brown College is located only ten minutes from north campus, and has ample space for classrooms and common areas. The new location is a blessing and has provided a wonderful temporary space for our community, and yet often students are still missing north campus.

On August 2nd, Minnehaha was blindsided by a tragic loss of two lives and the building that had been called home since the start. Things will never be the same as they were, but that can’t be helped. The community is still grieving. The community is still hurting. But as a community, Minnehaha has each other and hope in Christ to hold on to. This means that in both good times and bad, through laughter and pain, God is with Minnehaha. And though there is no doubt that for some, it is still hard and will continue to be hard, the community has been provided with a wonderful space that can be filled with laughter, tears, learning and growth in the next few years to come.

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About Emma Melling

Emma is a senior staff writer who is interested in English and literature, and is also passionate about French language and culture. She enjoys writing features on arts and human interest topics and loves listening to people’s stories. Her hobbies include reading, hiking and spending time with family.

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