With the opening of the new Owatonna High School slated for fall of 2023, time is drawing near to find the best use for the current high school. The 100-year-old building, with several updates over the years, will not be used for classroom instruction when the new campus in southeast Owatonna opens.

A task force with a cross-section of school and community members was assembled by the school board to recommend ideas on how to utilize the current structure.

In a news release from the school district, the Existing OHS Citizens' Task Force has made two proposals.

  • "Consolidate the appropriate district functions from the current District Office and Rose Street facilities to the existing high school site, and
  • continue to seek partners to redevelop other portions in a way that would benefit the community."

A Request for Preliminary Proposals (RFPP) is posted on the school district website. "It asks for ideas for re-use as well as an outline of the proposed development process and funding," states the news release. The deadline for ideas is February 28. "Results will be available in early March and shared with the community task force."

The school board will hear from the task force in March with plans expected to come together this summer for construction beginning summer 2023.

The RFPP indicates, "the school district anticipates allocating up to $11 million...for the re-use of portions of the current Owatonna High School campus. Any potential additional development would require funding from a proposed partner."

The notice further states, "The three-story portion at the northwest corner (C Plaza) is anticipated to be remodeled to house district administrative offices. The VoAg building is anticipated to be utilized for district maintenance shops. Gymnasium and locker rooms anticipated to house high school and youth gymnastics programs."

Owatonna High School was built in 1920 with major additions in 1949, 1955, 1960, 1977, and 1998. "The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, but was removed in 2000 after the 1998 additions," according to the RFPP notice.


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