ST. CLOUD -- With school violence in the news lately, security of students and staff is a focal point of school construction, rebuilds, and upgrades.

The need to adapt to a new era of security concerns isn't lost on the firm behind the new St. Cloud Tech High School. IIW Minnesota will present the principles of security they've designed into the school at the board meeting Thursday night.

David Leapaldt is the Senior Architect for IIW Minnesota. He says they're using the environmental design of the new Tech itself to help keep students safe. Their focus is built around being able to see as much as possible at all times.

"Making the school safer through transparency and allowing you to see a threat coming for a longer period of time, giving you much more time to react."

He says the location of the new school, off 33rd Avenue South, across from Stride Academy, is a helpful tool as well. It will allow for a high degree of control over who can even approach the school.

"[The location] gives us the ability to control how people arrive at the site, and how they enter the school. Basically, if you're on that particular site [the new Tech], there's going to be a reason for you to be there."

Leapaldt says they're including lessons from the Sandy Hook school shooting, and that school's rebuild into the new Tech school.

"They took a look at what had happened there. And then considered how they should rebuild to increase safety, and we're using those same principles in the design of the new high school."

The incorporation of nature and tight control over site access are a couple of examples.

Another school they're looking at to help is Alexandria Area High School, which was toured by several board members when they first started designing the new Tech. The school is set to open in the fall of 2019.

When finished the new Tech High School is expected to hold 1,600 students.

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