Ruder remodel will utilize as many local products as possible

by Chris Peterson
Editor | March 25, 2020 6:21 AM

The School District 6 Board last week got an update on the Ruder and Glacier Gateway Elementary School projects, set to begin construction this year.

The first construction people could see however is the new ball fields between Ruder and the junior high school. As soon as the frost leaves the ground, work could begin on those, once a contract is let.

The fields will go from fence line to fence line between the schools, with a parking lot at the west end, adjacent to the junior high track.

At Ruder, work is slated to begin in June, with the hope of having the existing building and the gym connected by the start of the new school year. Ruder has a budget of $8.1 million which includes a 28,600 square-foot addition and a multipurpose room. The hope is to be able to cycle through the school lunch with just two groups of students each day.

The school will have one new east entrance between the existing building and the existing gym. The new addition will come off the existing gym at angle to the west.

Swank Construction has the contract for Ruder and the goal is to have it completed by fall of 2021. The building will be timber frame wherever possible.

“We’re trying to utilize as many local products as possible in this project,” said architect Max Grebe.

Gateway is a project that is still in the design stages. The plan is to build a $22.9 million 86,800 square-foot project where the track currently sits. The north wing of the old school will be removed and buses will go from the Truck Route and back onto Fourth Avenue.

There’s still a long way to go on the design, as the exact placement of the entrance was still being debated at the meeting. The school will be a two-story structure to serve 644 students. A completed design will likely be finished in a few months.