The Minnehaha Academy community has been instrumental in the design of the new spaces for the rebuilt Upper School. From student input sessions, to feedback from alumni and neighbors, we are working closely with many constituents to bring the plans to life.
It was important to our community that the new space reflect the warmth and character of our school. One of the most important elements that bring warmth to our school is our proximity to the Mississippi River and the abundant, beautiful tress that surround the campus. It was crucial that as many trees as possible remain on the Upper School campus as the footprint for the new buildings were planned.
White oak tree slabs salvaged from Minnehaha Academy are drying in the kiln.
To-date, more than 100 existing trees remain on campus, and 173 new trees are being planted. Approximately 15 trees were lost and today we’re excited to share that these old, historic trees will be utilized in our new building thanks to the work of several alumni.
John Ahlquist ('66) will be working with dried white oak to construct the door to the prayer room, located in the commons areas of the new Upper School. He is also working on plans to frame salvaged stained-glass windows with the dried white oak, along with a frame for a historical display case next to the chapel.
Rick Siewert ('80), along with Deb (’85) and Sandi (’87), of the family-owned Siewert Cabinet & Fixture Manufacturing, Inc, is partnering with Mortenson on cabinetry needs for the new Upper School. Rick, alongside his wife Cindy, also founded Wood From The Hood, a local company committed to reclaiming discarded trees from urban neighborhoods to create beautiful, high-quality wood products. Wood From The Hood is currently drying the lumber from Minnehaha Academy white oak trees that were removed.
Minnehaha Academy, along with our construction and design partners, is taking great care in preserving our school’s past while supporting next century teaching and learning. We are excited to show you more in the coming months as we prepare to welcome students, faculty, and staff back to the river.