ST. CLOUD - With a $167 million referendum fast approaching, more details are emerging for a new Tech and updated Apollo High School in St. Cloud.

The most recent plans of both buildings were presented on Wednesday afternoon.

The proposed new Tech High School would be 360,000 square feet and could hold up to 1,800 students. District officials have emphasized that the current Tech is nearly 100 years old and would cost around $140 million to repair and maintain over the next 10 years.

The designs indicate the primary entry to the school will be through 33rd Street South. They also highlight the importance of two stories of flexible classrooms (in blue below), that utilize the back space of the building. Tech High School Principal Charlie Eisenreich says the flexible classrooms will allow the school to adjust with trends in education.

"We want to make spaces in our schools that are flexible. So, rather than spending a lot of money to put up a wall here or take down a wall there, we have that opportunity to create those designs when they come up."

In the exterior plan (seen above) a football stadium/track will be placed south of the school, with baseball and soccer fields to the west. Neenah Creek Park is to the east of the school.

Proposed new entrance for Apollo (Cuningham Group and IIW Minnesota)

At Apollo, the most recent designs reveal that the student and visitor parking lots will be separated to reduce traffic and increase safety. The entrance would be extensively upgraded and leads to the commons area. The administration office would also be moved to the entrance for safety.

The center would be remodeled into a “Discovery Center”, an area themed to reflect science and technology. There will also be an emphasis on flexible classrooms.

The owner of a $150,000 home can expect to pay an additional $218.35 a year if the referendum passes.

The $167 million referendum includes $113.8 million to build a new Tech High School and $46.5 million to update Apollo High School. The remaining money will be used to update district technology ($2.5 million) and security at eight area schools ($4.2 million). Voting will be on November 3rd.

If the referendum passes, the district hopes to start construction in the fall of 2016, with the goal of opening the new high school in the fall of 2018.

There will be 13 precincts for the referendum, rather than the usual 65. This was done to save on costs for an election, since three judges will be needed at each precinct.

Current interior design for the new Tech High School (not final). (Cuningham Group and IIW Minnesota).
Exterior plan for Apollo with the student and visitor parking separated (not final). (Cuningham Group and IIW Minnesota).
The Apollo "Discovery Center" (Cuningham Group and IIW Minnesota).
Current interior design for the updated Apollo High School (not final). (Cuningham Group and IIW Minnesota).
The proposed new Tech Commons area (Cuningham Group and IIW Minnesota).