IIW Minnesota

Design Foresight Makes Kennedy School Expansion Easier


When leaders constructed Kennedy Community School in St. Joseph, Minnesota, in 2008, they knew enrollment likely would continue to rapidly grow. They built into the design and construction plans provisions to make it easier for future expansion.

David Leapaldt, who served as the lead architect at the time, returned in 2015 to put the original planning to use. Together with the IIW Minnesota team, he worked with the St. Cloud Area School District to add much needed classroom space throughout the E-8 school. Kennedy now can serve more than 30 percent more students from early learning through eighth grade.

In this recent expansion, IIW Minnesota helped the district add a total of 12 new classrooms small learning spaces and improve the cafeteria serving areas, site circulation and traffic flow to accommodate the growing school student body at Kennedy.

The expansion included the addition of two classrooms to the kindergarten and early childhood wing, four classrooms and additional bathrooms to the first and second grade wing, and six classrooms and additional bathrooms for grades 3-8.

Leapaldt led the original community facilitation process and developed the initial modern design for the school that initially served 755 students. Kennedy Community School became among the first schools to earn the national Gold LEED certification and has been seen as a case study in the nation for combining facility features and educational opportunities. Learn more about Kennedy.