New Alexandria High School

When Alexandria Schools recognized the need for a new school, they pulled together an intensely collaborative team of Cuningham Group Architects, Clark Engineering for structural engineering, and Kraus Anderson. 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 Jefferson High School, constructed in 1957.

The 283,000 sf facility serving grades 9-12 opened for students Sept. 2, 2014 after a two-year construction schedule. It 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. All classroom tables and chairs are on wheels and spaces are impressively flexible DIRTT sustainable modular walls, creating the ultimate in-room layout flexibility.

IMEG was instrumental in developing a cost-effective structural system that maintained the desired openness without compromising the budget. Other unique structural design features included open staircases with windows to the outdoors, a large cantilevered balcony in the auditorium, and a three-story commons area with glulam members emphasizing the open air spaces. A notable structural feature is the “learning stairs” in the center of each of the two classroom wings. These grand steps provide a space for students to settle in for study or reading, all conveniently located next to a traditional staircase.

Alexandria High School
Alexandria, MN
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