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The New Building

M.A. leaders prepare for return to a changed home

The next time you pick up a Talon, you might be at the genius bar overlooking River Road, or in the fireside lounge, on the rooftop deck or in the college-style cafeteria.

Next year the rebuilt North Campus will be filled with new places to discover for Minnehaha Academy students.

Before the school year starts, Minnehaha’s leaders want their students to get to know the building and feel comfortable navigating their way around it.

“We are going to invite each class of students to the building for a meal, tour of the building, and a meeting about our new home and related expectations, opportunities, processes, and need-to-knows,” said Principal Jason Wenschlag. “We will communicate those dates to students before the summer, but it will be a great opportunity to give students time to be in the building before the year starts. We are hoping to start with seniors the first day of the college application workshop.”

Two brothers, one a senior and one a sophomore, weighed in on the new building and next year as a whole.

“I think the building looks really cool,” said senior Gabe Lessard. “I’m a little sad that I don’t get to finish off my high school career there but I’m happy that they got it done in time for the rest of the students at Minnehaha.”

The Lessards have been at Minnehaha for 11 years, and the old building was their home for many years. Ethan, the younger brother, was never officially in school in the old building, and he is excited to see what the future holds.

“I wasn’t at the old campus as a freshman so I feel like next year is going to be sort of like a clean slate because I didn’t really know what it was like before,” said sophomore Ethan Lessard. “I heard it was really hot so I hope they change that.”

Everyone has had their complaints with the lunch system at Mendota whether that be with the lunches themselves or the sluggish lines. But once students are back in the new building and see what has been done about these problems, they will forget about all of them.

The new lunch room will be more like a college eatery. It will have the classics that everyone has come to know and love like the grab-and-go sandwiches and drinks, the sandwich station and the main entree. It will also have some great new additions like the fresh breakfast, a full salad bar and the chef on display station which will give different chefs a chance to use special recipes that they’ve learned over the years.

“I’m super excited about the idea that the lines won’t bog down because of all the options that are available to students,” said chef Laura DuBois. “The only thing that I think will be a bummer is that chefs in the kitchen won’t be able to see all the students that come and get lunch which was a highlight of my day at Mendota.”

The building at 3100 West River Parkway has been a historical icon for Minnehaha Academy for a hundred years. After the tragic explosion of August 2, 2017, there were countless ideas on how to rebuild it. Some wanted it to be rebuilt exactly how it was before, while others wanted it to have everything they could possibly want in a school and more.

As the 2018-19 school year ends, many in the community are proud of how much has been accomplished in such a short amount of time. And while summer vacation is always welcome, the start of the 2019-20 year back at North will be one of the most eagerly anticipated school starts in anyone’s memory.

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