Rebuild school project after devastating fire

The Almira School Rebuild project was initiated after a fire destroyed the community’s previous school in October 2021. The rebuild project was centered on more than just restoring the previous structure; it aimed to enhance the educational environment significantly. The plan included the construction of a new 48,000-square-foot facility – 10,000 square feet more than before – with an allocated budget of around $32 million. The project’s vision focused on future-proofing the school, which included expanding the gym and lunchroom for greater capacity and integrating updated technology in classrooms. Employing a Design-Build delivery method facilitated a streamlined process, ensuring efficiency and quality.

Shortly after the fire, OAC swiftly coordinated the setup of a temporary school using portables and trailers. This facility was operational in four months, consolidating students previously scattered across various community locations. Following this, Almira School District officials, with OAC Project Manager Gene Sementi, worked on the recovery process. They secured funding through insurance, state grants, and legislative support. OAC’s role extended to selecting the Design-Build team, overseeing the new school’s design and construction, managing furniture and equipment procurement, coordinating the move-in, and completing the final project checklist.

Key collaborators in this project included ALSC Architects and Garco Construction. Their expertise was crucial in transforming the vision into reality. The project was a collective effort, involving state agencies, insurance companies, and other partners, reflecting the community’s solidarity and resilience in the face of adversity.

The rebuild was completed in just 22 months allowing students to start their 2023-2024 school year in the new building. This rapid turnaround, from conception to completion, stands as a shining example of what can be achieved when a community unites with a clear vision and dedicated partners.