New Johnston High School

The New Johnston High School

After 18 months of discussion, the district’s facilities committee decided that the best option for the future of Johnston schools was to build a new 10-12 high school. The new high school is located at 6500 NW 100th St., Johnston. It is north of 62nd Ave and west of 100th St. The school was designed by West Des Moines-based FRK Architects + Engineers.

On Monday, August 18, the Johnston Board of Education voted to accept the base bid with alternatives from Stahl Construction in the amount of $74,640,000 for the construction of the new Johnston High school. Construction on the new high school began in September of 2014 and was completed in April 2017. 

On June 22, 2015, the Johnston Board of Education approved a construction change order in the amount of $2,066,474 to move ahead with a track and turf at the new high school. This is an alternate project and not part of the original bond referendum or project bid.

Dragon Stadium

At the Monday, July 18, 2016 special board meeting, Johnston Board of Education members approved bids for the construction of a new athletic complex, totaling $8.86 million. The scope was expansive and the total cost came in approximately $1 million over budget. The district worked with Stahl and FRK to value engineer the design of the athletic complex to lower the cost. The athletic complex is paid for through the Physical Plant Equipment Levy (PPEL) and/or sales tax dollars. Completion of the stadium is scheduled for the summer of 2017, in time for the opening of the 2017-18 school year. A naming committee voted to name the new athletic complex “Dragon Stadium.”

The current stadium (Johnston Stadium), located behind Johnston Middle School and Johnston High School, will remain in use by the lower grades and community/youth sport groups.

View photos of the Johnston High School construction process

Quick facts and good things to know about our new high school

  • Location: 6500 NE 100th St., Johnston, IA 50131
  • Capacity: 1,800 students, grades 10-12
  • Total project cost: $81 million
  • Construction: Began in September of 2014
  • Completion: April 2017
  • Access to new school: Enter on 100th street
  • Designed by West Des Moines-based FRK Architects + Engineers, the district’s architecture firm for more than 20 years. FRK is partnering with Perkins & Will, a firm out of Chicago that specializes in school construction. Stahl Construction serves as the contractors on the project.

What will classrooms look like?

We envision the new high school to be a well equipped, 21st century classroom, with options such as a retractable wall so two classrooms could be combined, promoting cross-discipline learning and productive groupwork. The new school will also have better accessibility to lockers, common areas, and exits.

The school is designed in three wings, which can be used in multiple ways. When the school opens, the wings will be organized by grade – 10, 11, and 12. Each wing will house all academic courses, such as science, math, English, and social studies. Teachers won’t have desks in the classrooms; instead, they will have their own designated professional area in the academic wing. This contributes to increased collaboration and communication.

How does this kind of classroom/academic wing design impact staff?

Similar to working in an office setting, educators benefit from collaboration with their peers. In this type of academic area design, teachers will be able to easily communicate and share with one another, and may even promote dual learning environments by combing their classes for special projects, guest speakers, and lectures.

What are other features of the new high school?

Students can count on a great cafeteria and eating area, wide hallways for easy passage during exchange times, updated gym and locker room facilities, a 1,200 seat auditorium for the performing arts, and much more. Enhanced security is also a top priority in the building and design of this school.

What is the cost breakdown of the proposed new school?

Building construction: $74.64 million
Off-site improvements (roads): $2 million
Track and turf: $2,066,474
Soft Costs: $9 million
(Site survey, geotechnical investigations, professional design fees, special inspections, city and state review fees, contingency, printing of documents, insurance)