Ribbon Cutting Held For New Okoboji Middle School

Thu 10-8-2020

(Milford)-- A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday on the new Okoboji Middle School in Milford. Superintendent Todd Abrahamson says the $20 million project took just 18 months to complete, adding that it came in on time and on budget...OMS Ribbon Cutting01 

"It's amazing going from 52,000 square feet to 83,000 square feet and when I come out here basically right now on a daily basis seeing the joy in our students and our staff and when parents, a community member, a business leader walks in, they just are in awe, and I think that is just what is so gratifying for me, when you see those emotions and excitement. So that's really what it means to me and how this community, the Okoboji community, came together, 69 percent approval of the bond is just amazing because that's a hard thing to get done and I just can't thank the Okoboji community and the voters enough for that, so."

Okoboji Middle School Principal Ryan Cunningham says the new facility is truly state-of-the-art with some rather unique components to it...OMS Ribbon Cutting02 

"You know one thing you'll notice when you go into the rooms is that there's not a lot of cabinetry or built-ins. It's the furniture that makes the design and in covid times it's helpful for flexibility, but in all times you'll see that almost every piece of furniture is on wheels. These storage units that are in this room, or tables, everything can move around. Every single student desk, the main student desks, are adjustable, they go up and down and they've got that ability for kids to work in ways that fit them, and so we really had a lot of fun putting that together for kids and getting their input. But those pieces there are a big part to the learning environment, really help our kids to stay engaged and be active in their learning throughout the day."

Tyler Rile of FEH was the lead architect on the project. He says the district, unlike some, took a different approach in what they wanted in the design...OMS Ribbon Cutting03 

"The district was very open of creating usable, collaboration spaces for students. A lot of students are looking at every square foot and we need to reduce it and keep it as tight as we can. This district took the other approach. Let's expand it a little bit here and there where we can, but a little bit of space of real estate for our students to use, staff to use, and that was unique than what most districts want to utilize in a new building."

Some students in the district's No Boundaries program also had some input on the design of some furnishings and outdoor fixtures for the new middle school.