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Smooth sailing for new school

The main hub of the high school will be the commons area. School board members checked out the dining area which will be an elevated platform. The concrete slab will be poured soon. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)1 / 13
Most of the building is enclosed and ready for interior work through the winter. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)2 / 13
The Alexandria Area High School stadium is taking shape. Currently, paving and fencing are underway and finishing touches are being made to bleachers, press box and concession buildings. (Amy Chaffins/Echo Press)3 / 13
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Construction of Alexandria Area High School (AAHS) is 70 percent complete and the project is on-schedule to open in the fall of 2014.

0 Talk about it

Monday afternoon, school board members toured the site. Here’s an overview of the $65 million project’s progress:

Currently underway:

-Classroom wings: Interior framing and sheetrock are being installed; windows and metal panels are being placed; insulation and painting is beginning.

-Commons, cafeteria and kitchen: Mechanical, electrical and plumbing are being roughed in; slab will soon be poured; stairs and sprinklers to be installed.

-Fitness, locker rooms and gymnasium: Mechanical, electrical and plumbing are being roughed in; windows, brick and metal panels installation underway; non-load bearing masonry walls going up.

-Auditorium, music, arts area: Metal framing for the balcony, catwalks and seating to be installed; structural slabs for the orchestra pit going in; ceiling features and rigging to be installed.

-Site: Parking lots are being curbed and paved; seeding and watering are taking place at the six-plex and ball fields; work is underway on stadium paving, fencing, bleachers and concession building construction.

Previous three months: Metal fabrication and erection was done; roofing and interior framing was done; classroom windows were installed; stadium turf, bleachers and asphalt were placed.

Future three months: Window, brick and metal panel placement will continue; technology, sprinklers and life safety systems will be installed; painting and finishes will begin; fencing will begin; scoreboards will go up and parking lots will be paved.

“Construction continues to go as smoothly as can be expected and right on schedule,” Trevor Peterson, director of business services for Alexandria School District 206, told the Echo Press last week.

“The building will soon be completely enclosed which will allow the interior work to progress nicely throughout the winter months,” he said.

After the tour, Dean Anderson, school board chairman, said the building looks “...concise, crisp and clean. Things are being well executed over there.”

The new school is being constructed on a 167-acre site located at 50th Avenue and Pioneer Road in Alexandria.

AAHS will house 1,400 students and the new 280,000-square-foot building will feature two three-story academic wings that include 36 classrooms, 12 flexible learning spaces for small and large groups, science labs, technology/engineering lab, art rooms, a media center and special education classrooms.

The new facility will also boast new athletic fields and a stadium, an activities wing with a three-station gymnasium, and a performing arts wing with dedicated music spaces, as well as a 1,000-seat auditorium.

The new facility features an eco-friendly, energy-efficient design.

Amy Chaffins

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

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