After months of planning, the idea for the new Owatonna High School has become a reality.

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Yesterday, Owatonna Public Schools hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new high school at 3:30 pm. In addition to a shovel ceremony, which involved community partners and planning committee members, staff and students delivered a few remarks about the process.

The new site is located at 1945 18th Street SE. The high school will be ready for students by the fall of 2023, which does show that there is still a lot of work left to do. You can check out anticipated images of the new school on the Owatonna Public Schools website.

Many local businesses have provided fantastic financial support, especially Federated Insurance, Mayo Clinic Health System, Viracon, Wenger Corporation, Wenger Foundation, and Gopher Sport.

In fact, over $22 million (plus in-kind donations) from local businesses have been collected for the construction, which means that tax impact for the Owatonna community has been reduced by 20%.

Superintendent Jeff Elstad is hosting an in-person "coffee and conversation" on Thursday, May 13 at 8:30 am at the District Office (515 West Bridge Street, Door 1). Elstad will be giving updates about the school district and answering any outstanding questions or concerns.

If you're interested in attending, you can RSVP by emailing shoffman@isd761.org or by calling (507)-444-8610. Please do so by 4 pm on Tuesday, May 11.

The current high school was built in 1920. Though it is an older building, I think it is a beautiful structure with lots of character. It will be nice to have a more modern high school building, but I hope the old school still gets used in some capacity. 

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