West Fargo School Board gets its first look at new middle school design

West Fargo Middle School rendering 2.jpg
This architectural rendering gives a bird's-eye view of what would be the West Fargo School District's third middle school. YHR Partners / Special to The Forum

WEST FARGO — The West Fargo School Board got its first look Monday, Jan. 14, at what the district’s third middle school will look like once it’s completed in 2020.

The school district plans to begin construction on the middle school this spring after voters overwhelmingly supported a $106.9 million bond referendum in September. About $88.5 million of the referendum will be used to pay for a new middle school and new high school near 76th Avenue in Horace.

Architect and project manager for YHR Partners Julie Rokke presented the school’s design plans on Monday. “The middle school is the first one out of the chute after your bond referendum, and it’s been a challenge,” Rokke said.

The school district originally planned to build the school for 800 students with room to eventually expand to house 1,200 students. But because the middle school will house three grades, with roughly 300 students in each grade, it made sense to design the school to hold 900 students right away, Business Manager Mark Lemer said.

Eight-hundred capacity “was based on our enrollment projections,” Mark Lemer said. “It’s larger than we originally anticipated, but the building makes sense now.”


Instead of a 167,000-square-foot building, it will now be about 183,000 square feet, Rokke said.

The two-story building was moved to the east side of County Road 17 and 76th Avenue rather than on the western corner of the land as originally planned.

Rokke said the city of Horace plans to build a water tower and two roads, Lakeview Drive and 79th Avenue, this summer. As work begins on the roads and the school building, a property owner has agreed to provide the district contractors access to the site through their property.

The northwest end will hold mostly academic areas while the auditorium, music room, gym, locker rooms, kitchen and mechanical area will be on the south end.

The school will have dedicated space for special education, with its own entrance by a bus loop. “The buses can drop those special education kids, and they can go right into their suite,” Rokke said.
The school will be designed with “team centers,” or classroom clusters, off the main corridor based on grade level. Individual classrooms of social studies, math or languages will have garage doors that can be opened so that teachers can address all the students of one grade at once in the team centers.

“So the school is kind of designed with wings with space, so when it expands in the future, we can go in any direction,” said Mark Lundberg, YHR project manager.

The district plans to seek bids on the project after Feb. 1. The school is expected to open by fall 2020. Construction on the new high school will follow, beginning in 2020.


West Fargo Middle School rendering.jpg
An architect's rendering of the main doors of what would be the West Fargo School District's third middle school. YHR Partners / Special to The Forum

As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
What To Read Next
Get Local