Building for the future

For two years Shane Albrecht has been in charge of overseeing the construction of Fort Dodge Community School District’s new middle school, a $30 million project with an auditorium and track and field.

Albrecht joined the FDCSD in November 2010.

“I was hired to oversee the new middle school stuff,” he said. “So I actually started from the design phase clear into trying to help getting what the district wanted, make sure that got incorporated into the drawings.”

Fort Dodge Middle School, which had its first public tour Saturday, has been a “neat project,” Albrecht said.

“It’s had some very neat things, but also some challenges as far as trying to get all that done,” he said. “We had the original challenge of the design, trying to get it within our budget so we can have what the district wanted but within the cost of what we had. And the whole time trying to look for problems and help through the solutions so that we can lessen the amount of change orders and still get the thing to be a functioning building for the staff and what they want.”

With the middle school nearly completed, Albrecht said he was proud of the facility.

“I’m particularly proud of all the technology that’s going to be there for our kids. It’s a very state-of-the-art building they’re going to have,” he said. “It’s just a great space to bring all the fifth- through eighth-graders together into one building. I think that will help make that a better learning environment for our kids.”

The district’s eighth-grade students, the first to tour the facility, showed their appreciation, Albrecht said.

“We took eighth-grade kids through and they liked the classrooms,” he said. “They were sitting at the desks, thinking how neat this was. It’s great to see kids getting excited about wanting to go back to school, to be in their new building.”

Though the middle school is nearly finished, Albrecht’s job is not done.

“I’m going to be around to help through the punchlist and the warranty period with the district,” he said. “We have a one-year warranty period to try to make sure that everything they have stays running like it’s supposed to.”

Albrecht said he has enjoyed the day-to-day work of building a school over two years.

“As with everything, it has its frustrations and enjoyments,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to have been a part of this building. This is going to be a great building. It’s going to be around for a lot of years in Fort Dodge.”