On June 3, members of the school board and district administrative staff took a moment to celebrate years of design at the official “groundbreaking ceremony” for the next Ames High School. Just over a year since the Ames community approved a bond referendum for the building, the moment marked the end of design and the beginning of what will be a 3-year construction project to build the next Ames High School.
Parking was always a factor to consider when the decision was made to construct the new building on the same campus as the existing high school. There were a number of contingency plans in place to address student parking, but Phase 1 fully addresses the parking needs by allowing students to park on campus. From June 2019 to June 2020, construction will focus on the southern part of the project with site work and establishing the geothermal wells. Next spring, a portion of the new parking will be installed in preparation for Phase 2.
The primary building structure will be constructed from June 2020 to June 2022. This will also include restructuring the stadium entrance and demolition of the pool in the spring of 2022. Once the pool is out, Phase 3 will establish the west side of the building with paving and site work. With the building substantially complete in the summer of 2022, select items from the current building will be moved to the new high school, which is set to open in the fall of 2022.
Phase 4 will decommission and take down the current high school building. Most of the materials will be either sold, reused, or recycled, which is consistent with the other recent construction projects in the Ames District. Once the snow melts in the spring of 2023, the site where the current building sets can be restored. Athletic fields will be installed, as will some of the other academic amenities on the west side of the building that include the outdoor classroom, science discovery area, and greenhouse.
The new Ames High School is set to open in August 2022 with the entire project being completed in September 2023.