ST. CLOUD -- The next century of St. Cloud's public education got underway Monday, as District 742 officially broke ground on the new Tech High School.

The District hopes the new building will continue the legacy from the original - century old - Technical High School.

Principal of the current Technical High School, Charles Eisenreich says he's excited that the new Tech is finally underway.

"It feels like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders, we've been talking about this for 30 years, and seriously for the last 20, and now we can do what's best for our kids."

He adds this new school will allow for a lot of flexibility.

"We're designing a building that won't only impact our current students but students 10, 15, 20, even 50 years down the road. Even when we don't know what that learning looks like, we're providing a flexible space and that's what's really exciting that we're thinking [so far] down the road rather than just what's there tomorrow."

Superintendent Willie Jett says this new school represents a new beginning for St. Cloud.

"It is the beginning of our children and grandchildren learning to live and work in this fast paced 21st Century, it is the beginning of meeting the changing workforce demands of our local businesses, and the beginning of a renewed economic vitality in our community."

Sophomore at the current Tech, and part of the new Tech's first graduating class of 2020, Brady Pederson says he is excited to be a part of the old, and new, traditions.

"My sister graduated from Tech in 2017, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Tech, and now my twin sister and I will be a part of the first graduating class of this new school, Tech tradition and pride is strong in our family, the vision is clear for the class of 2020, and that vision begins with this groundbreaking."

The school will feature "learning neighborhoods", and will bring all Tiger athletics back onto campus. The district's goal with the new high school is to create as much collaboration and community as possible among students as they progress through their higher education.

When finished, the new Tech will hold about 1,600 students. The new school will be built on district owned land along 33rd street south. The city of St. Cloud is also planning to turn the nearby Neena Creek area into a park.

More From AM 1240 WJON