For Mora Public Schools and the community of Mora, the construction of a new high school has been about connection and perseverance. ICS has worked with Mora Public Schools on various projects for nearly ten years. In 2015, we worked to pass a referendum and manage the construction of a $19.7 million pre-K-2nd grade addition at Trailview Elementary.
In 2016, we assisted Mora and the region’s hospital, now Welia Health, to facilitate and manage the construction of a new Wellness Center and Fieldhouse. We also worked to help them pass the referendum in 2017 for the district’s share of the funding for that partnership.
ICS provided construction management services 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. This project completes the district’s strategic long-range facility plan and connects their 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 included CMTA, Wold Architects and Engineers, and Northland Consulting Engineers. For them, collaboration was what 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 was a new building, it isn’t a stand-alone facility. The school ties into the Welia Wellness Center and Trailview Elementary is connected to the other side. This project brings the entire district onto one campus, including all athletic facilities.
The new school includes 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. Mora Public Schools has a long-standing history of a fantastic performing arts program, and the new high school will support that with a new black box theater and a 480-seat auditorium. The project also includes additional parking, a new multi-purpose athletic complex with a synthetic turf field and a track, and two new baseball fields with lights.
Construction for the project was finished in September 2023, and the school’s campus is now an excellent 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.
Dan Voce said “Throughout these tumultuous times of the pandemic, ICS has helped keep our project on time and within budget. We are on schedule to open the new Mora High School in the fall of 2023. Personally, I could not be more satisfied with the ICS team throughout the entire project. Their attention to detail, communication with our school administration, school board, and community members has been stellar. They have earned the trust and confidence of stakeholders at Mora Public Schools.”
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.”
Photography credit: SILVERMAN BE REMARKABLE
- 170,000 SF
- $61.9 million
- September 2023
- project development, pre-referendum planning, program management, construction management, and technical services
- Jeff Schiltz, Sean Lewis, Chris Ziemer, Kevin Wormuth, Evan Johnson, Steve Mitchell