Two weeks after the explosion, Minnehaha Academy comes together

The Walk for Unity drew students, staff, and supporters

Minnehaha Academy took a step in its healing process Tuesday evening. 

The natural gas explosion that leveled a building at the Minneapolis school this month, killing two staff members, happened while school was out for the summer. The good part about that is there were fewer people in the building when it collapsed. But it also meant that – apart from memorial services – the Minnehaha family had not been able to support each other. 

So they held a Unity Walk.

Minnehaha Academy is a private Christian school. The explosion happened at its Upper Campus, which serves high school students. The Lower Campus, which is about 10 blocks away, is where the middle and elementary schools are. 

The younger kids will start school as planned on August 23 but the high schoolers will start later at a location that has not yet been announced.

Minnehaha Academy President Donna Harris said Tuesday they're close to having a temporary space arranged and hope to sign an agreement Thursday, KSTP reports. "This has been a traumatic, traumatic event, and I don't think we will ever heal completely," she said, "but I think there's hope, and as I said before, we trust in God and we know that he is with us ... We are together as a community, and we're gonna grow stronger."

Some of Minnehaha's high school sports teams started practicing this week and athletic director Josh Thurow told the Pioneer Press that's been great.

"Normalcy is big, to get back out here on the fields" Thurow said. "It’s a lot of smiles and laughs, and you get distracted on the next thing here. So it’s been great.”

Federal investigators are looking into what caused the explosion. The National Transportation Safety Board, which regulates gas pipelines, says the blast happened while a crew was moving a gas meter.

An online fundraising campaign is underway to help the school rebuild. 

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