Addition size: 60,346 square feet
Cost: $35.3 million
Developer: Minneapolis Public Schools
Architect: ATS&R Inc.
Details: A new addition and major remodeling to Southwest High School will add 20 classrooms for the 2016-17 school year.
Parts of Southwest High date back as far as 1939, and school district officials say the three-story addition, as well as interior and exterior improvements, are needed to handle rising enrollment. When complete, Southwest's student population is expected to increase from this year's 1,650 to 2,100.
The centerpiece will be a 60,346-square-foot structure between the high school's east and west buildings, replacing a one-story link first opened when the east building was constructed in 1966. About 12,400 square feet of the east building will be demolished to make room for the addition.
The school's main offices will move to the new structure, which will be an "obvious and centralized point of entry" to the school.
A new, 10,000-square-foot lunchroom will go in the west building. Air conditioning will be brought to classrooms and offices for the first time, part of mechanical upgrades covering 160,000 square feet in the two buildings.
Extensive site work will also be carried out, including the removal of underground utilities and the existing front entrance in the west building. A handicapped-accessible parking lot will be added.
Don Jacobson is a St. Paul-based freelance writer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.