School board approves schematic design, proposed curriculumThe District 206 school board members unanimously approved the schematic design drawings for the new high school. The vote occurred at the board’s meeting on Monday. Architect John Pfluger, a principal of the Cuningham Group, presented the schematic design of the new high school via Skype at the meeting.
By: Stacie Kimball, Alexandria Echo Press
The District 206 school board members unanimously approved the schematic design drawings for the new high school.
The vote occurred at the board's meeting on Monday.
Architect John Pfluger, a principal of the Cuningham Group, presented the schematic design of the new high school via Skype at the meeting.
"We are transitioning from the schematic design phase into a more detailed level of discussion, which we call design development," Pfluger said as he began the design presentation.
Meg Parsons, Pfluger's associate, took those present at the meeting on a computer- generated virtual tour of the facility.
The design includes elements such as the two three-story learning communities, the performing arts center that consists of a theater with a seating capacity of nearly 1,100, an activities wing that incorporates five main gymnasiums, and a central student commons area that serves as the heart of the school. The design capacity for the entire facility is for 1,400 students.
Pfluger noted that four to five meetings with 14 different groups have occurred since the passage of the high school bond referendum on September 27, 2011. Meeting discussions with high school departmental groups and community-based groups were based on pre-referendum conceptual design work.
He also mentioned that the design process does not stop here and that it will continue to develop.
He added, "The design process develops from the general to the specific. Schematic is one step past conceptual."
Pfluger announced that the project's building design is on schedule with the initial timeline and budget.
In regard to keeping within the firm boundary of 280,000 square feet, Pfluger stated, "We are very pleased to report on the 279,993 square foot number."
The approval of the schematic design brought the district closer to its plan to start construction by late spring/early summer.
Architects will begin design development and the schematic drawings will be issued to Kraus-Anderson, the firm hired to provide project construction management services, to issue cost estimates.
Project cost estimates will be presented to the board at the regular meeting on February 27.
The district anticipates issuing bid packages for site work in early May and breaking ground in June.
To view the schematic drawings and take a virtual tour, visit the New High School Project section on the district's website at www.alexandria.k12.mn.us.
APPROVAL OF PROPOSED CURRICULUM
Teaching and Learning Director Julie Critz presented an overview on the curriculum and program modifications being proposed at Jefferson High School (JHS) for the 2012-13 school year.
• The Engineering Design and Development is the capstone course for the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Engineering Program at the high school.
PLTW is a high school program that provides students with real-world learning and hands-on experience.
At the end of each course, students are given an opportunity to take a test for PLTW certification and college credit.
• College American Studies (original course title College American History) combines two courses: Early American History and Recent American History.
Each course is the equivalent to three college credits for a potential to earn six college credits.
• College Composition II (original title College American Literature) is equivalent to three college credits.
Student interest in taking college level coursework while remaining at JHS prompted the course offerings.
These new offerings are considered dual credit (concurrent enrollment) courses. This means that through a partnership with colleges, JHS offers college courses in cooperation with college and university faculty.
College credit may transfer depending on college or university transfer policies. The partnering institution for these courses will be Alexandria Technical and Community College.
An information session is being offered regarding the college credit opportunities on Tuesday, February 14 at 5:15 p.m. in the JHS cafeteria.