PreK-12 Facility Updates

Growing a Future World Class Learning Environment

The GFW community has a long history of collaboration when it comes to our students and we have built on that tradition as we sought community involvement in the priorities for a new facility to develop a truly community-centered school. In April 2023, voters approved a bond referendum question supporting a single-site PreK-12 facility to serve our students beginning in the fall of 2025.

This webpage will serve as a source of updates on the process from planning and design to construction.

South Perspective

Building a Bright Future

Our community engagement partners have collected information from over 1,000 students and community members to date. Wold Architects and Kraus-Anderson have been working closely with a community led group known as the Site Team throughout this process including touring other facilities and setting priorities for a future school based on what is available.

User Group meetings were held with staff to discuss the specific needs of grade level and content area classrooms, specialist areas, flexible learning spaces, career and technical education spaces as well as general directions for how they want the new facility to look and feel.

The project is currently on budget and on schedule. The district was very fortunate to have a great day at the bond market and through additional funds from investment earnings are now exploring options to include a school farm and a track and football field.

View concept renderings of the new facility below:

Site diagram

Building diagram

Building Diagram 2

Take a Virtual Walk Through the New Facility

Current Phase: Design and Core Planning

The district is holding a very participatory process where community members, staff, and students have been able to participate throughout this process. The community-centered Site Team has sought input and feedback to guide the work of the Finance/Facilities Long Range Planning Committee and the Board. Wold Architects and Kraus Anderson shared that the project is currently on budget with more work coming to the board at the end of the Design Process.

This is a process and there will be additional changes to draft documents and other plans as the situation evolves. The direction and general needs of the facility will remain consistent, and updates will be provided as the process progresses.

At the November board meeting, Lynae Schoen of Wold Architects and Engineers presented to the board about the status of the facility projects. The team has been meeting with user groups including staff, teachers, and community members to discuss facility priorities and design.

Through the design process, the team researched the three towns and pulled inspiration from the history of Gibbon, Fairfax, and Winthrop as railway towns with a deep connection to agriculture. The building concept involves connecting corridors inspired by rail lines as well as common areas known as depots and other rooms seen as train stops. Wold shared about trying to involve natural light throughout the school as well as improving security and the ability to use as much as space as possible throughout the facility as teaching and learning spaces.

The district continues to do its due diligence when it comes to this process and safety and security and has been in touch with other districts, industry experts, and the secret service about security systems and feedback on different design concepts including the use of glass throughout the school.

Get a Sneak Peek

Browse renderings of different spaces below and click on the image to see a larger view.

exterior concept

Interior Concept

Interior Concept

Gym concept


East Perspective

Elementary School

Middle and high school

Setting Priorities Focused on the Future

GFW Public Schools held opportunities for family, staff, students, and community members to get involved in setting the priorities for a new facility by exploring what makes a 21st century school and what the GFW community would like a future-focused school to contain.

Similar to our strategic planning process, we held a series of sessions for different groups in our district in order to hear from all voices.

Planning for a Bright Future

Guiding Principles and Design Criteria

The Site Team and community members developed guiding principles and design criteria after touring school facilities and sharing what they liked and didn’t like and started to develop a common language and built consensus around the project.

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School tours

Building for Generations

A group of community members known as the Site Team came together to lead initial work of developing priorities and contributing to design. Part of this process included touring facilities around the state to get an idea of what is possible in a modern learning environment. More than 30 community members participated in tours and worked as a team to develop priorities for the district.

The group worked on an activity led by Wold Architects to discuss priorities. Splitting into small groups, participants were given puzzle pieces labeled with spaces to add to a new school including gyms, cafeteria, grade-level classrooms, special education, T-Bird Club, and more. Each group put together their own puzzle and then discussed items they had in common

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have other questions about the project, email