ROCHESTER, Minn. - Tuesday's snow pushed back the official ground breaking ceremony for a new Rochester middle school.
At the corner of 65th Street and 55th Avenue in northwest Rochester will be home to the new school. It's going to be a 150,000 square foot building. The district has been working on the $179,000,000 referendum package for the past two years now. The school will house over a thousand students and offer many of the new programs within the district. KIMT News 3 spoke with the builders to learn more about the project. The Vice President and General Manager with Knutson Construction Tom Leimer, explained what it will offer to the Med City. "There's going to be a shared, community learning space where community and youth can go and learn about nutritional benefits and actually learn from the district chef," said Leimer. "There's going to be a maker space, it'll have the highly gifted program and it'll have a music suite, which will support the music exploration program, which is very new to the district."
Aside from all the new learning and growing that will take place within the school walls, the construction process is going to take 300 workers to complete it. During a time when people are struggling with unemployment, that will help boost Rochester's economy a little bit. Leimer said what sets this building a part from the others is it's divided into several pods so you don't get that big school feeling. "They wanted to give it a smaller school feel by going into those 6 pods," explained Leimer. "I think what's important is what it's going to feel like in there. There's going to be flexible learning spaces for the students, it has thermal displacement which brings in 100% outside air, so it helps freshen up the building a little bit more. Also, day lighting is very important. If you're able to learn with natural light, it's a lot better than just a light fixture."
Since starting this process over two years ago, the snow was the only delayed they've experienced. The plan is to have it done in the spring of 2022 and students will start school that fall. The groundbreaking ceremony is now scheduled for Tuesday, October 27th, but it won't be open to the public. If you want to watch it, it will be streamed online.