SARTELL - A plan to build a new high school in Sartell, along with upgrades to each school in the district, will be presented to the school board in the near future.

The Sartell district has been studying its facilities with a community task force since March to come up with a solution for growing enrollment in its schools. Sartell superintendent Jeff Schwiebert says they have seen their enrollment double in the last decade.

"The committee looked at all of our facilities, space is the number one issue that they came up with. Space and 21st century learning areas were the guiding principals."

The proposed new high school would be 270,000 square feet and would hold 1,350 students. A location for the building is yet to be determined.

An example of 21st century individual study spaces. (iiw Minnesota, Cuningham Group)
An example of 21st century individual study spaces. (iiw Minnesota, Cuningham Group)

Under the proposal, the current high school would turn into a middle school building. The middle school would become an intermediate school for 3rd-5th graders. The two elementary schools would then become Pre K-3rd grade. Schwiebert says the committee came up with the plan to alleviate space concerns in every building.

"The committees work determined that a new high school would provide space for high school kids. But it would also as create space in all of our buildings for 21st century learning."

According to architects working with the group, (iiw Minnesota and the Cuningham Group) the cost to build a new high school and update every building would be just over $158 million over a 10-15 year period.

"That would be if we did everything, including a new high school and upgrading every facility we have. It's not like it would be done at one time, which is why the cost is misleading right now. At this point, [$158 million] is sure not what a bond issue is going to be," Schwiebert says.

The task force is hoping to present it's final information next week at Sartell Middle School. The board will then need to determine the tax impact on the community for any new school or facility upgrades.