Spacious New Minnesota High School Breaks Ground

By Eric Althoff

OWATONNA, Minn.—Minneapolis-based general contractor Kraus-Anderson has commenced the buildout phase of a new high school in Owatonna, a small city located approximately 60 miles south of the Twin Cities.

The $94 million high school will be three stories high and also include athletic fields and tennis courts, as well as a gymnasium, 825-seat auditorium, expansive cafeteria space and a football stadium. Furthermore, there will be a general commons area for gathering.

The 317,000-square-foot high school has been designed by the firm Wold Architects and Engineers, and it will be able to host 1,600 students when complete. The 90-acre site will also have parking for nearly 900 vehicles and maintenance and storage facilities for the athletic departments spread across the campus.

As designed by Wold, the new school’s materials will be a combination of precast concrete and structural steel. The building’s facade will encompass metal and brick panels whose “glazing” allows for a decent amount of natural light to penetrate into the building itself.

On the interior, terrazzo floors will be ubiquitous in the fitness and commons. Prefinished interior panels will be used to enhance the soundscape of the auditorium. Other internal elements include hardwood panels, tile and column wraps utilized to cover some of the walls.

The new high school is just one of a number of projects that have been funded by a $112 million district bond referendum passed in November 2019 by voters, according to the release. The new high school also represents a project Kraus-Anderson is undertaking as part of its “Summer Sprint” effort to get as much school construction completed in the Upper Midwest’s rather brief respite from cold and snow.

Construction will continue over the next few years, with the school expected to be ready by the summer of 2023, and thus open for students by the ensuing fall.

Kraus-Anderson’s work in the education sector over the past five years alone has amounted to over $1 billion. The firm has been in business since 1897.