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News165722

Architects provide School Board with update on construction projects

December 9, 2015

Fall 2017 is the target opening date for the grades 5-6 school addition at Horizon Middle School, the architects working on the project told the Moorhead School Board Nov. 23.

Representatives from Zerr-Berg Architects presented information related to the schematic design phase for the grades 5-6 school addition to Horizon. Completing the Horizon project a year earlier than the other projects benefits the other schools by moving students from those sites, said architect Tim Zerr in explaining the accelerated development schedule.

Zerr explained that meetings with various users have been held, the plan’s square footage revised, and the spaces better defined. Input from the user group meetings is being incorporated, but final decisions still need to made regarding the schematic design.

He shared plans developed prior to the referendum and explained changes that have been made. The plan now has a more open entrance to the grades 5-6 school with both academic wings going toward the west.

Zerr reviewed spaces for the academic areas, media center, art, music, orchestra and band, learner support services, gymnasiums, administration and counseling, food prep and storage, and building services. Changes include moving the serving kitchen from the south side of the gymnasiums to the north side to avoid moving an electrical transformer and adding a hallway between the gymnasiums to accommodate students moving to the outside from the existing locker rooms.

Project-based learning areas in each house will be designed with folding glass or garage-door-style walls and features like sinks, storage and drop-down power cords to allow the spaces to be used in flexible ways, he said.

The schedule calls for the 750-seat auditorium addition to be completed later in the 2017-18 school year. The auditorium floor will slope with seats in the back of the house that step up. The stage was made larger to hold more musicians for concerts. Final decisions still need to be made regarding storage and dressing room space.

Zerr said they are hoping to complete schematic design of the Horizon site by the beginning of December. The next phase is design development, when the engineering systems that make the building work are implemented. The goal is to complete design development in January, complete construction documents for the first bid group, which will include footings and foundation, for bid in early March. That will allow construction to start this spring on the first bid package, while work continues on the construction documents for the second bid package.

Construction on the secure entrances at the existing elementary schools is planned for this summer.

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