2014-15 Community Forums
It’s been a long time in the making, and the wait is finally over! The new Tech High School
just opened its doors to students, families and the community to continue its tradition of excellence. And enthusiasm is in the air!
Construction on the project officially began with the Groundbreaking Ceremony in August of 2017, but the process to build the new school started considerably earlier.
“Going all the way back to 2014,” explains David Leapaldt, IIW Minnesota
architect for the project, “it started with the interview process of the project.”
Once the school board decided to move forward with a referendum for a new or renovated Tech, IIW Minnesota contacted Cuningham Group
to establish a partnership due to Cuningham’s recent successful completion of the Alexandria High School. The two companies complemented each other well by using current knowledge of high school design coupled with local experience within the community.
forums consisting of community members, staff, parents and students began in 2014
and met throughout 2015
“A lot of the discussion [from the forums] was centered around Tech, but it was really [about] how the district wants to deliver education and how does the community view and want education,” says Leapaldt. “How do you model an education system that is both flexible and match where education is going?”
Taskforce members agreed a new Tech was the only way to accomplish what the community and the district viewed as the future of education.
After a failed first attempt at a referendum
in 2015, taskforce members went back to the drawing board. The district convened listening sessions, and the agreed upon best option was to scale back the building to accommodate 1,600 students instead of 1,800. However, members believed District 742 would reach a 1,800 population within a short amount of time. Therefore, the change in design meant the core facilities such as the commons areas, food areas and courts would still need to handle 1,800 students, and the site would allow for the expansion of the gym, gymnastics facility and an additional learning neighborhood in the future.
And the referendum passed the second time around. Continue reading