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Walls of the new Alexandria Area High School are now in place along Pioneer Road in southeast Alexandria. (Photo by Lowell Anderson)

Presidents are so last decade

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Washington? Lincoln? Jefferson? The Alexandria School District 206 Board of Education strayed from the traditional path and elected a more modern name for the new high school opening in 2014 - Alexandria Area High School.

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The name was alluded to at the groundbreaking ceremony in September. Board members unanimously approved the name at their December 17 meeting.

The board feels that "Alexandria Area High School" is inclusive of area communities and honors local businesses and residents who raised $4 million in private contributions through a capital campaign.

The education facility, being built on a 167-acre site on Pioneer Road and 50th Avenue in Alexandria, will replace Jefferson High School on Jefferson Street. The building has a 1,400 student capacity to accommodate freshmen through seniors.

Bids have been received on portions of the third bidding package. The package includes a plethora of elements: cleaning, concrete, masonry, metal materials, carpentry, roofing, doors, drywall, fireproofing, tile, flooring, paint, lockers, food service equipment, theater equipment, bleachers, plumbing, electrical and landscaping. Chad Rettke, senior project manager with Kraus-Anderson Construction, updated the board on the construction budget thus far.

The board also was given a glimpse at the materials that are to be used for the commons area, auditorium and food service area. The aim is to create a warm, welcoming environment with organic shapes and colors.

Construction is well under way as evidenced by a photo presentation during the board meeting. The project continues to come in ahead of schedule and under budget. Light bases, utilities, footings and foundations are mostly complete. A 380-foot deep well has been installed.

Plans for the stadium and pavement are scheduled for next spring and fall. Progress can be seen on the District 206 website via a webcam that shows live and time-lapsed action.

LEADERS DEPARTURES

Superintendent Dr. Terry Quist gave his final rundown of the consent agenda at Monday's meeting. Quist joked it was likely his 400th board meeting.

"I think in 26 years, I missed one [meeting]," Quist said. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do in January on Monday nights."

After six years as superintendent, Quist is stepping down. Beginning January 2, Rick Lahn will assume the superintendent position. An open house in Quist's honor was held Wednesday, December 19.

"I want to thank the board very much for their leadership and support, and this opportunity," Quist said.

Board Chair Dean Anderson commended Quist for being a wonderful leader with a kind and gracious style.

Board member Jim Hafdal will also be vacating his position on the District 206 panel. Hafdal was with the district for 18 years. Hafdal was presented with a retirement bell.

"It's been a real honor and privilege to serve the community," Hafdal said.

DONATIONS

The board recognized sizable contributions to high school activities. The high school football team received a donation from the Alexandria GRID Club for $3,500 to offset program expenses. The District 206 baseball team received a $600 donation for equipment for the 712 baseball program and a $3,200 donation for a pitching coach from the Alexandria Youth Baseball Association.

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Crystal Dey

Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.

(320) 763-1233
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