On Friday, May 13, 2016, Minnesota School Officials and community residents broke ground on a $20.6 million addition and renovation to East Grand Forks Senior High School.
Built in 1963, this will be the first major construction project at the Senior High School in over 20 years. With enrollments increasing at an average of 1.5% annually, JLG Architects’ 61,800-square foot expansion has been designed to provide teachers, administrators, and students a learning environment for the coming decades. A new STEM technology classroom will offer a fabrication lab to enhance the Project Lead the Way curriculum. A music and fine arts area will bring these programs together for the first time near the Performing Arts Center, in which lighting and sound will be upgraded. The new competition gym will include a walking track which will be open for community use outside of school hours. Over 31,000-square feet of classrooms and faculty resource centers will be renovated for Family and Consumer Science, Humanities, Science, Math. The Science classrooms will feature lab and lecture areas in the same room with adjacent teacher prep rooms.
The project will allow the District to eliminate the need for off-campus classes by bringing all of the educational spaces at the off-site Annex and Senior High Center under one roof, as well as returning administrative offices back into the building. Parking will be increased, and the grass football field will be replaced with synthetic turf in order to extend the season of usability, lower maintenance costs, and allow multiple teams and sports to use so as to keep them on campus.
The expansion project comes after a JLG-led Facilities Master Plan, which evaluated the existing building condition, code changes and educational adequacy, and how changing curriculum and technologies have impacted education. While a new building was estimated to cost $46 million, the design team found it possible to renovate the existing structurally-sound facility to bring it up to code and meet 21st century learning models for less than half the cost.
“This project is one that is far more than bricks and mortar,” said Brian Loer, Principal. “This is a project for our local community both now and in the future. The excitement of those involved in the project to date has set the tone and we are all eager to get started.”
Construction Engineers will be leading the construction process. The Senior High School project is expected to open in the Fall of 2017. The project was funded by a bond referendum vote on November 3, 2015.