Altoona Area School District
altoona high

New high school set to open in Altoona, Pa.

Nov. 11, 2020
The $80 million project includes a new B building and renovations to the A building.

The Altoona (Pa.) Area School District is nearing completion of a new high school.

The Altoona Mirror reports that upperclassmen are scheduled to have their first classes in the Altoona Area High School this week.

Workers broke ground in 2018 on the nearly $80 million project, which includes a new B building and renovations to the A building.

The building still has work to be done, but mostly on the “details” — rearranging rooms, unpacking boxes and cleaning up dust and debris.

About 80% of the new high school building has special classrooms supporting science, technology, engineering, math and arts (STEM), High School Principal Andrew Neely said.

The STEM center is a series of connected rooms, each designed for a different module in engineering and mechanical work: wood shop, metal fabrication, a “clean” lab designed for courses in biomedical technology, drafting, robotics and a small courtyard for robotics testing, and a centrally situated STEM commons.

During the design and planning phase of construction, educators met to brainstorm the programs they wanted for students. They worked with the project architect to create a building that fit their creative vision.

“The theme of this building is ‘flexibility,'” Neely said.

An example of that is the building’s more “traditional” classrooms on the third floor — they have trapezoidal rather than square desks, which are better suited for rearranging into small groups.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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