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New school: What's new?

This is the classroom wing of the high school as of February 19. Over the next three months, exterior walls will go up and interior mechanical, electrical, plumbing and technology will be installed. (Contributed photo)1 / 3
That large crane and pickup truck are parked inside what will be one of the high school's gymnasiums. Long-span joists were erected in the gym last week. (Contributed photo)2 / 3
As of last week, masonry work was about to begin on load bearing walls for the fitness center, locker rooms and gymnasium. (Contributed photo)3 / 3

Alexandria Area High School continues to take shape.

During their monthly meeting Monday, the Alexandria School Board was updated on construction progress at the high school work site.

The following is an overview of work done, work in progress and what's to come over the next three months:

Previous three months:

• Footings and foundations are in place for dugouts at the athletic fields.

• A permanent power line was installed at the site.

• A permanent irrigation well was installed.

• It was also reported that 100 percent of the footing and foundation excavation and construction is now complete.


• At the site, remaining light poles will be installed.

• In the classroom wing, work is ongoing for structural steel placement, detailing and joist and deck installation.

• Crews prepped last week to begin masonry work on load bearing walls for the fitness center, locker rooms and gymnasium. Long-span joists are being erected in the gymnasium.

• In the auditorium, music and arts area, auditorium joists and decking are complete.

• Work on roof blocking, load bearing masonry wall work and construction of the auditorium elevator shaft are ongoing.

Next three months:

• Crews will work on thawing the site and preparing for construction to begin on the stadium, tennis courts, concession building, fencing, final grading and landscaping.

• In the classroom wing, exterior walls will go up, below-grade electrical and plumbing work will be ongoing, concrete slabs will be poured and interior mechanical, electrical, plumbing and technology work will be under way.

• The commons and cafeteria construction will include erection of steel and installation of glued laminated timber.

• Below and above-ground mechanical, electrical and plumbing in the fitness center, locker rooms and gymnasium will begin.

• In the auditorium, music and arts area, load-bearing masonry, joist and decking work and below and above-grade mechanical, electrical and plumbing will be installed.

On the school district website (, a construction site web camera has been set up for anyone to log on and watch the progress. Viewers can watch the live as-it-happens camera or check out a time lapse version showing construction progress from December to today.


There have been no substantial change orders to date, allowing the project to continue staying well below budget and slightly ahead of schedule, according to school district business director Trevor Peterson.

Monday night, the contract for the high school elevator bid was awarded to Otis Elevator in the amount of $217,000 to provide two elevators and two lifts inside the building. The budget for that contract was $265,000.

"In the next few months, the shell of the building will come together and more trades will be on-site as the interior work begins," he said.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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