Scenes from the December 17 MHS Academic Wing Preview including tour guides, a tour group, merchandise sales and student performances

The Academic Wing Preview event for Phase 1 of the new Moorhead High School fostered an overwhelming response, with nearly 1,000 pre-registrations for tours of the new building during the December 17 event. Originally scheduled for two hours and 36 total tour groups, Moorhead Area Public Schools (MAPS) added 30 minutes and nine tour groups to the event to accommodate the extra interest in the event. In total, approximately 1,300 community members got a look at the new academic spaces.

Tour guides led their groups through one of the three academic wings—also known as “neighborhoods,” named River, Forest and Prairie—to give visitors a feel for not only the physical spaces but also illustrate how the learning neighborhoods will make a large school feel small for students. Neighborhoods were named after the Minnesota landscapes with theme ideas generated by students and chosen by student and staff voting. 

Throughout the event, visitors shared their thoughts with their tour guides:

  • “The natural light coming in through all the windows is fantastic.”

  • “This building is much easier to navigate than the [current] MHS.”

  • “Being able to walk through the new high school helped me understand how it will be more safe and secure than the current building.”

  • “I have a lot of great memories in the [current] MHS but it’s important to move forward.”

  • “Having elevators in central locations is really appreciated for accessibility.”

  • “From the outside this is a huge building but the layout doesn’t make it feel too big.”

Student musical groups provided live entertainment in the new Main Commons. The MHS Jazz Band opened the event, followed by the MHS Carolers singing Christmas tunes. Moorhead’s Apollo Strings arrangement concluded the afternoon’s live entertainment. The event also featured appearances by a pair of beloved former directors, as Kathie Brekke led the Carolers for the day and Jon Larson sat in with the Apollo Strings.

MHS teachers have been working hard to pack their classrooms up in anticipation of movers executing the transfer to the new building over winter break. Classes will begin in Phase 1’s academic spaces on Wednesday, January 4.

The new MHS athletic spaces will be commissioned during the Moorhead Holiday Basketball Tournament on December 27 and 28, at which time the public will be able to get their first look at these areas. Following the 6:45 p.m. Boys Basketball game on Wednesday, December 27, a ceremony will be held to de-commision the current MHS gymnasium and commission the new, 3,000-seat competition gym in the new building. On Thursday, December 28, the first MHS Boys and Girls Basketball games will be played on the new court starting at 2 p.m.

“Once a Spud Always a Spud” merchandise will be available at the athletic events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Moorhead Area Public Schools.

For more information on the ongoing celebration of MAPS’ 150th anniversary, please visit the district website.