Alexandria High School

When the Alexandria school district recognized the need for a new high school, they pulled together an intensely collaborative team that included Cuningham Group Architects for architectural design, Clark Engineering for structural engineering, and Kraus Anderson for construction management. The team worked through visioning sessions of the district and community user group to create a shared vision for “The World’s Greatest High School.” The new building would replace a 1957 building, Jefferson High School.

The end result was an award-winning and nationally recognized school with sunny and expansive commons, high-tech learning labs, flexible format classrooms, and collegiate-style layout with ample space for informal gathering – further solidifying what persevered at the heart of this endeavor: collaboration.

The 283,000 square foot grade 9-12 high school facility opened for students September 2, 2014, after a two-year construction schedule. The new high school accommodates 1,400 students on its 167-acre campus with two three-story academic wings and 36 classrooms, 12 learning spaces for small and large groups, science labs, technology and engineering lab, art rooms, media center, performing arts wing, commons and collaboration areas, stadium, athletic fields, and 1,000-seat auditorium. Additionally, all classroom tables and chairs are on wheels and spaces are impressively flexible DIRTT sustainable modular walls, creating the ultimate in room layout flexibility.

From an engineering standpoint, Clark Engineering was instrumental in developing a cost-effective structural system that maintained the openness the design team, community user group, and district envisioned without compromising the budget. Other unique structural design features included open staircases with windows to the outdoors, a large cantilever balcony in the auditorium, and a three-story open commons area in which the look and feel of the space was further supported with glulam members in the open air spaces. One of the more notable structural features is the “Learning Stairs” located in the center of each of the two classroom wings. These unique, grand steps provide students with a space to settle in for a study or reading period, all conveniently located next to a traditional staircase.


Location

Alexandria, MN

Cost

$73 Million

Completion Date

2014

Client

Cuningham Group

Awards

American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota, 2016 Engineering Excellence Honor Award

Finance & Commerce Top Projects of 2014


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Location

Alexandria, MN

Cost

$73 Million

Completion Date

2014

Client

Cuningham Group

Awards

American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota, 2016 Engineering Excellence Honor Award

Finance & Commerce Top Projects of 2014


More Educational & Institutional Projects