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11-20-15 Update on the Referendum
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A Message from the Superintendent

November 20, 2015
Hi Everyone - I wanted to share with you the latest information on our referendum projects. Below is the article and drawings that were included in the Shakopee Valley News earlier this month. I invite you to take a look at these drawings keeping in mind they are preliminary and draft. They are the result of hours and hours of work by groups formed after the referendum that consist of staff, teachers, adminstration, parents and community members.

Next spring and summer, we will begin construction on all our projects. To keep you informed, I will be sending out regular updates, but you will have to subscribe to receive these regular updates. 

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Update on Referendum Projects

This article appeared in the Shakopee Valley News earlier this month.
Greetings! It’s hard to believe, but we are almost two months into the 2015-16 school year. Great things have been happening, both in Shakopee Schools and in our High School Design Committees, and we wanted to give you an update on some of the amazing work that has taken place in the last few months.
 
Last May, the voters of Shakopee gave us clear direction when they overwhelmingly approved a $102.5 million referendum to provide funding for an addition to Shakopee High School to accommodate our growing community. We listened to the community and encouraged the residents of Shakopee to create a vision for what Shakopee High School will become. We are staying true to that vision and we are excited to share with you the progress being made. In the last six months, five committees (made up of community members, teachers, administrators, school board members, and students) have been working tirelessly to finalize their recommendations to present to the School Board. As part of their work, these committees first visited many other high schools to generate ideas and research best practices to incorporate into the new high school. The next step for them was to work alongside the District’s architectural firm to turn their ideas into reality.
 
One of the main themes that has bubbled to the top during this committee work is, “What is going to be best for all students?” The new high school will use an “Academies Model”, which creates small learning communities within our large high school, utilizes project-based experiential learning, and focuses on helping all students become college and career ready when they graduate. 
 
   The Core Planning Committee has been responsible for developing the teaching and learning vision for the new high school. They are making recommendations regarding the design and organization of the academies within the high school. For instance, they are tackling questions such as: which academies should be housed near each other for optimal flow and resource sharing, and what is the best configuration for use of common space? This committee is the heart and soul of our academic vision, bridging the walls being built with the academic opportunities taking place within them.
 
   Our Inside Committee has focused on the design and development of indoor activity spaces such as the competition gym, the new field house, and the fitness center. After researching several different configurations, their recommendations will greatly enhance our ability to provide curricular, varsity, and intramural opportunities to our growing student population.
 
Our Outside Committee has focused on the design and development of outdoor field and activity spaces such as Vaughan Field (expanded seating, improved concourse and ticketing space, and paved parking for better traffic flow), the practice fields adjacent to the high school, and the fields that will be developed on the land at the intersection of county roads 78 and 79.
 
Our Perform Committee has focused on the design and development of the new fine arts performance spaces at the high school. After thoughtful research and discussion, they have recommended a second, smaller auditorium featuring a thrust stage and a new studio stage space that is similar to a black box facility.
 
Finally, we have a Bond Oversight Committee, which is made up of a sub-committee of the School Board as well as administrators and consultants. This committee is charged with ensuring the project stays within budget and that we are using the recommendations of the other four committees. This committee will then ultimately decide what actionable items will go to the full School Board for approval. As we have watched these committees work together, we have been inspired by the amount of time and thought they have put into each decision—with our students’ best interests always in mind. The images that accompany this article are renderings created by our architectural firm based on the recommendations of these committees. These are preliminary renderings; please know they have not been finalized yet. While many decisions still need to be made, one thing is crystal clear to us at this time: When the addition is completed and we are ready to open the doors of Shakopee High School in the fall of 2018, the building will be a source of pride for our entire community.
 
We plan on sharing more information and preliminary renderings of the Academies, as well as the indoor, outdoor, and performance spaces in the next few weeks. Look for a community-wide newsletter later this fall with more information about the Shakopee High School expansion. We are excited for the future and we hope you are too! Together, WE ARE SHAKOPEE!

Superintendent Dr. Rod Thompson on behalf of the Shakopee School Board
Above: A bird's-eye view of the high school campus with the existing building shown in gray and additions shown in red. This image also represents additional parking, practice and competition space for athletics.

Below: A second, smaller auditorium featuring a thrust stage for more intimate performances.
Above: A new fieldhouse including an upper-level running track is pictured with the competition gymnasium on the right.

Below: Upgrades to Vaughan Field include a new plaza featuring additional space for ticketing and concessions as well as more paved parking.
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SHAKOPEE, MN

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