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Photo by Patrick Cullinan

Rebuilding North Campus

Rebuilding North Campus

The process of rebuilding North Campus

While you were busy traveling around the country this summer, Mortenson Construction was working diligently to progress on the new building project at the North Campus. The August 2nd pillar raising was the first official date of construction above ground on the building.

Principal Jason Wenschlag had comments regarding the schedule and completion time of the new building.

Minnehaha Academy observed the one-year anniversary of the explosion at North Campus and celebrated the beginning of its reconstruction with a Pillar Raising Ceremony on Aug. 2, 2018. Photo by Abby Hobrough.

“Yes, the plan for the building is that it will be finished by the Fall of 2019,” said Wenschlag. “There is actually a date that is a target for us to have occupancy which means that date is when the city gives the final approval that people can be in the building that are not contractors and that we can use the building. That date is set for sometime in early August.”

The date of occupancy gives the teachers and faculty a set amount of time to move into the building with all of their classroom components, but the plan is for school to start at the normal time in late August. 

“The goal is for us to be able to get into the building to start our normal time,” said Wenschlag. “What we’re going to have to evaluate is whether we will have enough time for teachers and staff to get their workspaces ready, to get everything moved in and to get classrooms set up and ready for kids. If we can do that by normal Wednesday when we start school, I think we’ll do that. However, if it looks like we might need a little more time than we thought we did, then we could adjust the start of our school year. Whether that be after Labor Day or before Labor Day, I still think we could make some adjustments to make sure that we’re in there and we’re ready to go for you guys.” 

Don’t get your hopes up just yet as it looks like the school year will most likely be starting in our new building at the same time as we always do in late August. 

Another big question that is still up in the air regarding the new building is the money. It is known that there has been a settlement with the insurance company and that there will be additional fund-raising for the project at North Campus. What isn’t known is how much money the school was given from the insurance company.

“My understanding is that there is a certain amount that was settled with the insurance company,” said Wenschlag. “I also understand that there is a need to do additional fund-raising for what we want to do on that campus.” There is a definite need for fund-raising for this project and many decisions will be made in the coming weeks regarding that fund-raising component. 

“How much money that is and what additional fund-raising is required to do is something that is not public at the moment, and quite frankly I just don’t know the answer to those questions,” said Wenschlag. The Board of Education and the President Donna Harris are the only group of people who know what the money component for the building looks like at the moment. 

“What I do know is that there is a fund-raising component to this project that is related to specifically the north campus and our main building,” said Wenschlag. The priority of Mortenson Construction Company is to finish the high school completely before starting anything regarding the middle school building at that location. 

Mortenson has been working diligently to get the building project done quickly so that the date of occupancy can be reached with a completed building. Minnehaha’s insurance company has reached an agreement regarding the amount of money that is to be given to rebuild. As of right now, everything regarding North Campus is right on schedule. 

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