Career Academy Plan
During the summer of 2019, Moorhead Area Public Schools purchased the former Sam’s Club big box retail building, located approximately three miles south of Moorhead High School, to renovate as a career academy.
The career academy will be located in the 143,000 square-foot building located on 17 acres at 2800 27th Ave. S., Moorhead. Moorhead Area Public Schools purchased the building for $4.25 million or just under $30/SF. The purchase includes a parking lot with approximately 590 spaces, a service bay area, and a delivery bay with loading docks. A separate 1.3-acre parcel that contained the former Sam’s Club gas station also was included.
The building will be renovated to provide learning lab and classroom space in support of career pathways such as health and human potential, farm to table, transportation, business/entrepreneurship, information technology, design thinking, and maker trades.
The district anticipates renovating between 100,000 to 120,000 square feet for career academy programming to house approximately 300 students, along with space for the district’s area learning center. Further consideration has been given to pairing career academy and area learning center programming to share resources. The open bays and high ceilings present in the existing space lend themselves to the types of large lab spaces that would be included in the career academy.
The existing building shell will remain intact with new window openings to provide daylight to perimeter spaces. A core space will be left open in the center of the building to provide a student commons space and a hub for daily activity. This could also allow for natural light to penetrate the core of the building and provide light into the spaces adjacent to the core. The existing building includes skylights that flood the existing space with natural light, even on overcast days. These skylights will be preserved wherever possible to maximize daylight into the interior of the building.
A new entry will be provided to identify the building in a way that connects with other school facilities. Administrative spaces and building security will be provided at this main entrance. The proposed renovation of the building will be approximately $9-10 million.
Career Academy Plan: