Owatonna School Board members got their first look at the design plan for the new high school, which is scheduled to open for the fall of 2023. The plan calls for a three-story building with a large commons area at the main entrance. Ground-breaking is planned for next spring with students entering in the fall of 2023.

Monday's school board work session featured Paul Aplikowski and Sal Bagley of Wold Architects and Engineers giving a virtual walk-through of floor plans and renderings of the building and the thoughts behind those plans. They indicated that hundreds of hours of meetings had already taken place to reach this point. Another round of meetings will follow with teachers and others.

Aplikowski and Bagley said reaching this stage of revealing initial plans publicly is essential the first third of the design process. They look to open for bids early in 2021 with ground breaking in the spring.

Core planning groups were a cross section of parents, staff, and community members meeting on a regular basis to discuss concepts. They traveled to some newer high schools in Minnesota to get a first-hand look at their designs. Community input also went into the design.

The plans can be seen in the following gallery of screen captures from the board's YouTube Live feed on Monday night. Educational classes offer a variety of settings with the ability to modify areas. Those areas are in green in the diagrams. The auditorium will be accessible from the first and second floor.

The gymnasium will include a walking track all the way around the upper level. The campus will include a stadium field, practice fields, and baseball and softball fields. At a May presentation superintendent Jeff Elstad said officials were still studying whether an artificial or a natural surface would be put in place for the stadium field.

Find out more about the school board. Their next meeting is June 22, 2020.