Math and Science Academy, 8430 Woodbury Crossing, Woodbury MN 55125
Phone Attendance: (651) 578-8061
Phone Main Line: (651) 578-7507

MSA Expansion and Merger Updates

Latest News

Potential Merger Documents 3/2/23

Potential Merger MSA/WLA PowerPoint

Potential Merger MSA/WLA Document Brief

Merger Meeting 2/16/23

The merger committee will be holding a meeting at 4:15pm in room 101B on 2/16/23.

Merger Committee 2_16_23 - AGENDA.pdf

Joint Merger Task-Force Update 2/6/23

Greetings MSA and WLA Stakeholders,
As you are likely aware, both MSA and WLA are working to establish, or have established several committees to work independently regarding a potential merger between the two schools. The Merger Committees are composed of a large group of individuals (administration, board members, parents, teachers) who will be working together to consider the prospect of merging the two schools.  The large Merger Committees will be responsible for brainstorming the questions that need to be answered by the other school, and collaborating to provide answers to the other school’s questions. Merger Committee information will be presented to the Joint Task Committee who will analyze the data and bring recommendations forward to the Board of Directors for each school.
A smaller group of some of the same individuals will meet weekly directly with the other school to discuss the questions and answers. This committee referred to as the Joint Merger Task-Force met for the first time on Friday, February 3rd, primarily for introductions and to prioritize topics. 
There were three takeaways from the Joint Task Force’s first meeting:
  • The initial question that needs to be addressed is whether the schools feel there is strategic alignment between MSA and WLA.
  • The need for a potential merger timeline also rose to the top as a pressing issue that the Boards would like to see sooner rather than later. Our administration teams will be collaborating on Monday to further develop a timeline.
  • Collaborative communication is also necessary. Thus, the Joint Task Force will be sending out a memo, like this one, to all WLA and MSA stakeholders following its meetings. 
In addition to the Merger Committees, and the Joint Task Force, there is also an Administration Team Committee. This committee is working on the MDE requirements, as well as the bonding company representative, school finance company, transportation company, and so forth. Information from the Administration Committee will also go to the Joint Task Force.
Last year we compiled a survey with your initial thoughts on a merger between MSA and WLA. We would like to expand that survey with the following question to ensure everyone has a chance to share their input.  Merger Question

Thank you,
The Joint Merger Task-Force 

January 31st, 2023

The board of directors discussed our expansion plans at the January 23rd board meeting. The administration shared two budget scenarios with the BOD. One budget had a merger focus and the other assumed no progress towards expansion. These budgets were created for the BOD’s finance committee by BergenKDV, MSA’s accounting firm. The conclusion from this analysis shows a reduction in our savings over time if we do not expand, and a surplus in savings if we proceed with a merger. See the attached summary for more details.

The Merger Committee has prepared questions for the Woodbury Leadership Academy (WLA) to be addressed jointly between MSA and WLA. The BOD requested the MSA administration to work with WLA to create a plan of merger that will be reviewed at the February meeting.

January 23, 2023 - Finance Memo

The finance committee has released a memorandum regarding MSA's finances with regards to expansion. It can be read by clicking here.

Update 1/13/2023

A meeting will be taking place on January 18th, 2023 at 4:30pm at MSA. POSTPONED TIL LATER DATE. Due to space limitations, the meeting will not be open to the general public, but will be livestreamed to both schools via Youtube ( Each school will be presenting questions they have for each other.

December 14, 2022 - First Merger Committee Meeting

In an attempt to hold a meeting prior to the 12/19/22 BOD meeting, the MSA Merger Committee will be holding a meeting on 12/14/22 from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.  This will be a virtual meeting over Zoom, and it will be recorded for those unable to attend but interested in viewing the discussion.

Agenda: [Download PDF]
Meeting ID: 865 0423 5822
Passcode: 310184

December 6th, 2022 - BOD Update

The Board of Directors (BOD) held a special meeting on Monday, December 5, 2022, to discuss MSA expansion.   

We learned about the different implications for our school across seven different expansion possibilities, as well as the impacts of not expanding.  A summary presentation is attached to this email.  While a number of expansion options looked great on paper, we are unable to afford many of them at this time given the current high interest rates and building costs.  

Based on the discussion, the BOD has requested Maggie Burggraaff to head a newly formed Merger Committee to explore and find answers to the following questions: 

  • Would a merger with WLA support the mission, vision and strategic plan of MSA?

  • What does MSA need to know in order to support a merger approval?

  • What does MSA gain / lose if a merger is approved?

This Merger Committee is looking for volunteers and will be made up of MSA BOD members, staff, admin, families, and students.  Please reach out to if you are interested in participating in this committee.

The BOD is also seeking stakeholder feedback before our December 19th BOD meeting.  If you have any questions or comments regarding the BOD decision to explore a merger opportunity with WLA further, please email the MSA Board Chair at by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, December 15th. Your responses, along with your contact information will be compiled and shared with the BOD and available for public viewing.  

See powerpoint/attached


Dan Ellingson
Board Chair

Maggie Burggraaff
Vice Chair

December 4th, 2022 - MSA Expansion Planning Update

We continue to make progress on our expansion plans with the completion of our November 21 Board of Directors (BOD) meeting as well as our December 1 Expansion Committee update
On Monday December 5 we have our student town hall (4:30-5:30PM) and our Special BOD meeting (5:30-6:30PM). The public is welcome to attend this open Special BOD meeting in person or virtually (  Just a reminder that with all special meetings, we do not have an open forum section in this meeting format.  
A special thank you to everyone who has and continues to support our Expansion efforts.  
Detailed Timeline
  • November 21: Monthly MSA BOD meeting where we will discuss the expansion decision plan timing, and obtain MSA BOD feedback and alignment on next steps.
  • December 1: Expansion Committee meeting
  • --> December 5: Student Town Hall, where students can ask Admin and BOD representatives questions. 
  • --> December 5:  "Special Meeting" called where the MSA BOD will review all expansion options together.  This includes our potential expansion options for new construction, renovation, relocation, and mergers. 
  • December 5-19: The MSA community will have a chance to share their feedback to administration and the MSA BOD.
  • December 19: At this open MSA BOD meeting, the board will vote to approve the expansion plan.  Regardless of the option chosen, there will still be a lot of work to be accomplished after the vote. 
Thank you,
Dan Ellingson

9/28/2022 - General Information About What The Expansion Group is Focused On

  • Conversations with a bond underwriter has begun as part of the budgeting process
  • Weekly progress meetings include a discussion of available properties
  • Priority is to stay in District 833 because most current students reside within this district and because of the current busing
  • Looking at vacant land and locations with pre-existing buildings, 20-40 acres
  • Focus on Woodbury and Cottage Grove properties
  • Met with the city planners at the City of Woodbury and the City of Cottage Grove for guidance on available properties and process for city approval
  • Some properties have been listed for sale; some owners have been approached unsolicited
  • For now, MSA has kept the search confidential so that it does not alert the market 

Expansion Committee Highlights - Timeline of Progress

  • 5/16/22 - Sent out RFPs for an Owner’s Representative (7 recommended firms)
  • 6/23/22 - 4 firms interviewed (NTH, InGensa, JB Vang)
  • 7/01/22- NTH selected as MSA’s owner’s rep by the Expansion Committee
  • 7/12/22 - NTH Tour, planning discussion
  • 7/19/22 - First bi-weekly progress meeting with NTH and a work group from MSA – Develop and execute on priorities (property search, select architectural firm, develop program, develop project budget through pricing exercises, select construction manager, back-to-school night)
  • 7/27/22 - Sent out RFPs for an architectural firm
  • 8/12/22 - 3 firms interviewed (Cuningham, Pope/Fielding, DSGW)
  • 8/19/22 - Cuningham selected as MSA’s architectural and design firm by the Expansion Committee
  • 8/23/22 - Architect onboarding, preliminary programming discussions, beginning planning back-to-school night
  • 9/1/22 - Cuningham and NTH attend back-to-school night
  • 9/6/22 - Sent out RPFs for a construction manager
  • 9/14/22 - Programming – NTH and Cuningham Meetings with MSA Departments
  • 9/21/22 - MSA Community Design Workshop #1 with Cuningham
  • 9/23/22 - 3-4 firms interviewed - Selection of Construction Manager by the Expansion Committee
  • 9/27/22 - Kraus Anderson selected as Construction Manager
  • 9/28/22 - MSA Community Design Workshop #2 with Cunningham
  • 10/3/22 - MSA Special Board Meeting to discuss expansion


  • Nov-Dec - Program development, project budgeting/pricing exercises, stay/leave decision

MSA Groups Involved

  • Expansion work group – Attend weekly updates and planning sessions with NTH and Cuningham (Vetsch, Hinton, Ellingson, Eng, Thiegs)
  • School Expansion Committee – Board members, volunteers, and staff (Eng, Ellingson, Yapp, Diane Thiegs, Leigh Ann Ahmad, Langseth, Vetsch, Hinton) – Selection process and conducting interviews for owner’s rep, architect, and construction manager
  • Board of Directors – High level decisions, authorization of major contracts

Our Current Partner's Are:

  • Owners Rep - NTH - Responsiblities include budget and schedule.
  • Architect - Cuningham - Responsibilities include Design
  • Construction Manager - Kraus Anderson - Responsibilities would be the build.

About NTH/Cunningham - Our Owner's Rep

Rationale for hiring NTH:

  • Their fee was the lowest.
  • They had a clear vision of how to help us decide if we should move or stay on our current site.
  • They had a plan to work with the City of Woodbury to determine our options on site and in other locations including market research.
  • They will support us in working with our community both internally and externally.
  • They will help organize community events and attend to answer questions.
  • They were clear that hitting our timeline was going to be difficult but are committed to doing everything they can to make this happen as quickly as possible.
  • If construction runs into 2025, they will help us find additional space while construction is completed.

Rationale for hiring Cuningham:

We selected Cuningham because we felt they could give us the best design.  There were 10 people on the committee Cuningham was the first choice for most and second choice for the few members who did not put them first.  The committee felt their vision and process was the best fit for MSA. 

Math and Science Academy
8430 Woodbury Crossing
Woodbury MN 55125
Hours: Click Here For Details

Main School Line: (651) 578-7507
Attendance Line: (651) 578-8061
General Fax: (651) 578-7532
Student Records Fax: (651) 800-4600

The MSA Dragon

Authorizer Contact:
Liz Wynne - Director
(763) 557-6676 |
P.O. Box 581639
Minneapolis, MN 55458-1639

Authorizer Performance Commendable Rank From Minnesota Department of Education