Planning for a new high school in Ames, IA began in 2017 after the district performed a study to assess the current high school and its facilities. The district made the decision to move forward with the plans and hired Story Construction as the construction manager for the project and selected OPN Architects to design the new building with Counsilman-Hunsaker retained to design the new competition pool.
On April 3, 2018, voters approved a $110 million bond referendum for the project, and the team broke ground on the new high school project in June 2018. The new high school is scheduled to be complete for the beginning of the 2022/2023 school year.
Located on the existing high school grounds, the new building will have state-of-the-art accommodations including a competition pool, 40 proposed general classrooms, a 17,500 sq. ft. media center, an outdoor dining space, and 60,420 sq. ft. dedicated to the performing arts.
An open commons area inside the front entrance will act as a gathering space for students, staff, and community events. Several safety features are incorporated into the building design to protect entries, including a secure vestibule and video monitoring capabilities. Just off the commons area, are the entrances to the fine arts auditorium and an 1,800-capacity competition gymnasium with an elevated running track.
The basement level will contain a stretch 25-yard pool with starting blocks and a separate diving area for student use and for the high school’s swimming and diving teams. It will also house physical education space, practice gym, dance and cheer room, and weight room.