Oltman Middle School
Cottage Grove, MN | Education
The South Washington County School District embraced a modern approach to learning, with a new two-story middle school for grades 6-8. The facility includes a competition swimming pool, performing arts center, and three-court gymnasium.
Up until 2018, Oltman Middle School operated in a facility originally built as an elementary school in 1951. This school had been remodeled and expanded several times. It was converted to a middle school in 2002. As the District enrollment continued to grow, it became necessary to relocate Oltman Middle School into a new building at a location that was more central to the communities of Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Newport, and St. Paul Park.
In 2015 South Washington County School District passed a $96 Million bond that would see the construction of a new building for Oltman Middle School serving grades 6-8, and the repurposing of the previous middle school as Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion Elementary School. Oltman Middle School modernized its approach to learning with the design of a new $72 million two-story facility, featuring a competition swimming pool, performing arts center, and three-court gymnasium.
The new facility was designed to enhance the learning experience for each student by sectioning the school’s teaching space into pods. Each grade pod has its own locker bay, restrooms, classrooms, and flexible learning spaces with tables, comfortable seating arrangements, and a moveable wall that opens for collaborative learning. The media center features an expanded library and educational amenities such as a television studio and makerspace with 3D printers.
Arts and athletics are important to the District and community. In response, a 400-seat auditorium and performing arts center was constructed with a full music suite including spaces for choir, band, and orchestra. Athletic amenities include a full gymnasium with three full-sized basketball courts, a fitness center, locker rooms, and modern, 8-lane competition swimming pool with diving area and 200-capacity seating for spectators.
One of the most striking areas in the 192,000 sq. ft. building is the food court, with floor-to-ceiling windows giving the space a bright and airy feel. A variety of seating options are available for students ranging from traditional lunch tables to booths and high-top tables.
The facility is equipped with new technologies for student safety and classroom management. These features aide in more efficient and creative teaching methods and provide security with the touch of a button through a remote-control lockdown system.
“We believe the one doing the talking is doing the learning. This design allows for more of our students to do the talking."
- Joni Hagebock, Principal, Oltman Middle School