Creating spaces that engage students, inspire future leaders.

What if learning truly could happen anywhere in your school?

It’s a question that school leaders are asking across the United States and two Minnesota schools are leading the way on.

New high schools opening in Fall 2019 in Sartell and St. Cloud are designed to better engage students and give them more diverse learning opportunities. School leaders have worked alongside IIW Minnesota and the Cuningham Group to achieve their goals for enhanced transparency and flexibility. Blanketed with natural light, these spaces create a welcoming environment where students and staff look forward to coming to.

Take a look at what makes these spaces notable:

1. Reimagined Commons Area

It starts with reimagining the main commons areas of the schools to create visible, functional, collaborative learning spaces and opportunities to better engage the local community. Students can nestle into a variety of spaces to study, work on group projects or socialize.

2. Integrated CTE Spaces

Career and technical educational spaces are no longer hidden in separate areas or wings. They have been integrated into the learning communities and in areas of high visibility throughout the schools. Positioned in the center of the schools, the CTE spaces are surrounded by glass walls to allow students to see their peers at work in a wood shop, design studio, small engines repair shop, business office and more.

3. Security Mapping

Schools are going beyond secure entries by partnering with law enforcement to map their facilities and integrate it into a new 911 mobile app to help law enforcement pinpoint and respond to any issues.

4. Project Creation

These schools transformed the traditional media center and library into high-tech project learning spaces where students can come together to apply their skills and create products alongside with the guidance and support of school staff.

5. Collaborative Learning

Focused on flexibility and transparency, these spaces are designed to provide a clean slate of application opportunities for teachers. They can be used for an intensive science experiment at one point then for a human math problem or a robotics lab.

How can you begin reimagining your spaces to engage, educate and inspire students today?

IIW Minnesota, headquartered in St. Cloud, partners with K-12 schools to facilitate the visioning process, develop plans and create functional and forward-thinking spaces.

Learn more at


David Leapaldt
(320) 230-0840


** Editorial content provided by associate member.