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Minnehaha students return to a brand new building after 2 years in Mendota Heights

New building brimming with new technology

With every new building comes new changes and advancements in architecture and technology that have been made prior to the completion of that building. And the 3100 building is no exception. It’s safe to say that the old building wasn’t exactly modern. Now that the new building has been completed, there have been countless new technologies implemented to boost enjoyment and comfort for the students and teachers of Minnehaha.
“One of the new advancements that we’re excited about is the new wifi,” said technology support manager Joey Starkey. The new wifi system will allow students to stay connected anywhere on the property of Minnehaha Academy. That means anywhere from the soccer field bleachers to the weight room, the connection will be strong and steady. The speeds have also been significantly increased, being four times faster than the speeds at Mendota and five times faster than the average household. This year, Minnehaha will be partnering with US internet to gain access to their fiber internet. The lower and middle school will be getting the fiber internet this fall with the upper school getting it at some point in the following year. Fiber internet routers are capable of performing up to 1 Gbps (1000 Mpbs) which is roughly five to ten times faster than what the school has now.
Many of the new technologies are geared toward teachers. There are a number of new learning spaces and devices that give teachers improved flexibility when teaching. Classrooms have new short-throw projectors, more whiteboard space, and are generally larger than classrooms in the old building and at Mendota. Along with the updates to the classrooms are the work areas situated on each floor for group collaboration.
“I’m really excited that we have an area on the third floor which is localized with the breakout areas and the bigger classrooms that are going to allow for people to work independently and then also to facilitate peer conferencing sessions,” said senior English teacher Kristofer Sauer. “In the past, we’ve all kind of been crammed together whether that was in the library at the old north campus or whether that was at Mendota campus and now everybody is going to be localized but able to work individually and be able to focus which is awesome.”
There have also been many additions to the building that are geared towards the students’ comfort and ease of life. The electric fireplace lounge area is a great place for students to study during free periods. The new heating and cooling system, although not fully functional at the moment, will allow for individual room temperature control and can be operated from a laptop or phone by faculty members.
“We’re more eco-friendly than ever,” said Starkey. “Automated high-efficiency LED lighting and HVAC systems offer more control while also reducing environmental impact.” Another feature that will help students this year is the digital signs which will have lunch menus, game times and pictures of student life. Something cool that the tech team has done is put windows on the server room so students can look inside and see the inner workings of the network at Minnehaha.
From the new wifi to the surplus of new laptops and iPads to the HVAC system that can be controlled via laptop, the new building is brimming with technology that aims to make the life of the Minnehaha community smoother and sleeker. The technology that fills the new building is state of the art and will provide students and staff alike with more ways to have an enjoyable and productive school year.

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