Phase one Fit for the Future construction projects on schedule for summer completion
(05/24/19) Drive past Brookside Elementary School (photos) in Ramsey, or Sunrise Elementary School (photos) in Blaine, and to the untrained eye, the work left to do before school starts in September may look daunting. But looks can be deceiving.
“Both schools are ahead of schedule and construction will be complete in June with furniture moving inside in July,” said Anoka-Hennepin Chief Operations Officer Chuck Holden. “I feel very good about where we are in the process, and the new elementary schools are going to beautiful facilities for our families and students.”
Parents and community members will see the schools come to life in the coming weeks, Holden said, with landscaping installation of sod and trees, fencing, and the monument signing being installed soon.
“Ultimately, we anticipate staff moving in after furniture delivery and installation, so by the end of July, or beginning of August,” Holden said. Open houses at all district elementary schools is Tuesday, Aug. 27.
The two new elementary schools aren’t the only major Fit for the Future construction projects going on around Anoka-Hennepin. (Click school names to see photos of the progress.)
At Andover High School (AndHS), exterior work on a two-story classroom addition in front is completed, and work is progressing on interior classrooms. In addition, the second story addition to the auditorium, as well as the cafeteria expansion in the rear of building are on schedule to be done this summer. As a result, portable classrooms at the school will be removed this summer as well.
At Anoka High School (AHS), the new main entry and office area, and classroom addition on the front of the building will be complete for the start of school. In addition, during the summer, all portable classrooms will be removed. Work will continue on the fieldhouse as well as cafeteria and other projects through next school year.
At Blaine High School (BHS), the two-story classroom addition and cafeteria expansion is ahead of schedule, and will be ready for the start of school. All portable classrooms at the school will be removed this summer. Phase two planning is underway for expansion of the fieldhouse and fitness areas, as well as the construction of a new front entry and main office area.
At Champlin Park High School (CPHS), work is on track on the two-story classroom addition on the west side of the school, the fieldhouse addition on the south side, and the auditorium storage on the east side. Everything will be complete for the start of next school year, and all portable classrooms will be removed this summer.
At Coon Rapids High School (CRHS), the creation of the new front entrance and relocation of the main offices is back on schedule after a minor delay in steel shipments early on. The work will be finished in time for the start of the next school year. Meanwhile, phase two planning is underway for spring 2020, which will complete the link to the fieldhouse side of the school, add a new fitness center, a new music room, and remodel several classrooms.
“I am very excited about all of our projects,” Holden said. “I feel very good about where we are in the process and especially that we have honored the requests from the Fit for the Future Task Force and the School Board direction by providing additional classrooms, removing the portable classrooms, enhancing security, creating future-focused media centers, and upgrading aging facilities.”
Phase one Fit for the Future projects are also within the originally established budget.
In addition to Fit for the Future projects, Holden said there will be many other capital improvement projects people will see at schools in the community. Most notably, he said, will be a parking lot expansion and the moving of tennis courts at BHS, a new driveway entrance for buses at Roosevelt Middle School, a Coon Rapids Middle School parking lot expansion, a new Monroe Elementary School bus corral and new south parking lot, and new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems being installed at a handful of schools.
The Fit for the Future plan, which was backed by voters in November, 2017, when the community approved a request for new funding, is creating safe and secure learning environments by removing portable classrooms across the district, constructing additional schools and classroom space, providing solutions for maintaining quality schools at every building in the district, and addressing class sizes at all levels.
Check out the timeline infographic for details on each construction project. A majority of the projects will be completed over the next three years.
Updates will continue to be shared at ahschools.us/FitForTheFuture.