For Mora Public Schools and the community of Mora, the construction of a new high school has been about connection and perseverance.
ICS team members have been working with Mora Public Schools on various projects for nearly ten years. In 2015, we worked with the District to pass a referendum, the project, and manage the construction of a $19.7 million pre-K-2nd grade addition at Trailview Elementary.
In 2016, we assisted Mora School District and the region’s hospital, now Welia Health, to facilitate and manage the construction of a new Wellness Center and Fieldhouse. We also worked with the District to help them pass the referendum in 2017 for the District’s share of the funding for the Wellness Center partnership.
ICS provided construction management services for the District to complete their tennis courts and initial parking projects in 2017.
And during the COVID-19 pandemic, ICS and Rapp Strategies worked with the School Board to develop, compare, and contrast two plans: a repair and renovate plan for the existing high school versus a new high school plan for the community to decide on through a bond referendum. We helped facilitate communications with Mora community members and helped them pass the referendum that will fund the construction of their new high school facility. This project will complete the District’s strategic long-range facility plan and connect the District’s educational facilities for long-term educational delivery efficiencies.
Dan Voce, Superintendent at Mora Public Schools, said, “ICS has worked with Mora Public Schools on several building projects in our District. We continue to work with them because they continue to deliver quality facilities on time and on budget. They’ve helped design and develop the new Mora High School. The project has been very collaborative, and we are excited to see the finished product that everyone will be proud of for many years.”
The design team for this project includes Wold Architects and Engineers, Obernel Engineering, and Northland Consulting Engineers. For them, collaboration has been what’s made it so successful. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with this team on a few other projects, and we just click, said ICS Project Manager, Sean Lewis. He continued to say that “one of the critical parts of our process is collaboration. It’s not just collaborating between our design partners, but also with the project owner. And even then, when we refer to “the owner,” it’s not just one person – that term often refers to a large group of people. In the case of the Mora high school project, the owner included staff from the District and community members.”
Although the high school will be a new building, it won’t be a stand-alone facility. The school will tie into Welia Wellness Center, which has Trailview Elementary connected to the other side. This project will bring the entire District onto one campus, including all the District’s athletic facilities.
The new school will include a gymnasium, classrooms, and collaborative learning spaces designed for flexibility and modern learning, a completely revamped and upgraded Career and Technical Education (CTE) wing, and a branch for performing arts. MPS has a long-standing history of a fantastic Performing Arts program, and this new high school will support that with a new black box theater and a 480-seat auditorium.
In addition to the building itself, the project will also include additional parking, a new multi-purpose athletic complex with a synthetic turf field and a track, and two new baseball fields with lights.
One of the members of the stakeholder groups involved with the building design was retired Mora Superintendent, Craig Schultz. “The process facilitated includes the students, staff, and community to assist in the building’s design,” he said, “the involvement of user groups to develop the details provided the entire system with the best-possible and most-efficient learning environments, community areas, and activity spaces.”
When the project is complete in 2023, the school’s campus will be a wonderful addition to the area. “It really is something special – this project will bring the whole community together and be the center point for the community in the future,” said Jeff Schiltz, Principal at ICS.
Construction began in the Spring of 2021 and MPS hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on May 10th to kick things off. The project is anticipated to be complete before the fall semester in 2023.
Brent Nelson, Principal at Mora High School, said, “We are thrilled to be breaking ground this spring. The new Mora High School will prepare students for success in the future. This facility will allow Mora’s educators to offer the real-world experiences needed to achieve our District’s mission for students to ‘Explore, Engage, and be Empowered.’ ICS has gone above and beyond in coordinating with our many user groups and the architects to ensure every space in the new building is fully functional to meet our unique needs.”
Renderings courtesy of Wold Architects and Engineers
Aerial photography by East End Productions
- 170,000 SF
- $61.9 million
- Summer 2023
- project development, pre-referendum planning, program management, construction management, and technical services
- Jeff Schiltz, Sean Lewis, Chris Ziemer, Kevin Wormuth, Evan Johnson, Lisa Bohmert, Al Reichow, Steve Mitchell