Friday, July 3, 2020
This is a rendering of what the commons at the new Owatonna High School will look like. Wold Architects of the Twin Cities provided a design update of the new school at a recent board work session.

Design concepts unveiled for new high school

General design concepts are beginning to take shape with the new Owatonna High School.

At a recent board work session, Wold Architects and Engineers of the Twin Cities provided the first look of what the new high school will look like.

“This is very, very exciting,” said Superintendent Jeff Elstad. “We are starting to see the learning spaces come to life. It’s taking shape.”

Elstad stressed that none of the design has been finalized yet. He said focus group meetings will take place over the next month with various departments within the school to come up with a final design. “By the end of August, a plan will be flushed out and we will move into the technical design,” he said.

Blue prints with a technical design are expected to be completed by the end of November. Elstad hopes to let out construction bids on the new school by January with construction taking place next spring. Classes would not begin in the new school until the fall of 2023.

As the plans are unveiled, Elstad likes what he is seeing. “I’m very impressed by it. This is not a cookie cutter high school. This is Owatonna,” he said.

Elstad explained that through the process, the district has taken 25 different statements of what needs to be represented in the new school. Some of them include theatre, arts and agriculture. “Those very things that have been around Owatonna for years are starting to represent the school in design,” he said.

He expects the new design to feature open and closed classrooms. “We are planning this for the 2073-74 school year,” Elstad said. He added the new high school is trying to take into account what education will evolve into over the next 50 years.


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