By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A former college campus in Mendota Heights may soon become the temporary home for Minnehaha Academy’s upper school.

Classes were originally scheduled to start Wednesday. It’s been three weeks since the natural gas explosion that killed employees Ruth Berg and John Carlson.

The NTSB is still investigating, but in a preliminary report said two workers opened a gas line that was still pressurized.

School was not in session at the time, but there were a small number of people there for summer activities.

On Wednesday night, the Mendota Heights City Council will consider giving Minnehaha Academy an interim use permit to hold high school classes at the former Brown College site.

The property was occupied entirely by Brown College up until June of this year, before the college moved all of its classes online.

It’s located eight miles away from Minnehaha Academy’s upper school. WCCO got a look at the interim use permit this morning and in it, officials indicate that the Brown College site would only be used for a year by Minnehaha students.

However, they want to have an additional year included in the permit, just in case.

That depends on whether or not the school in Minneapolis is determined a total loss or if some of the structure can be salvaged.

This all comes as the NTSB continues their investigation into what and who may have caused the deadly explosion. The full report may take a year to complete.

Bryan Duffey was seriously hurt in the blast. Doctors had to amputate his leg.

According to his Caring Bridge page, he may be leaving the hospital by the end of the week. His wife says despite his pain, his spirits are high.

Duffey works as a custodian and assistant soccer coach at Minnehaha Academy.


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