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Keys exchanged for high school

Lead Architect Dean Beeninga, right, hands the key to New Richmond High School to Morrie Veilleux, district administrator, as Jeff Morberg, high school principal, looks on.

It's official. New Richmond High School belongs to New Richmond.

Architects from ATS&R handed the key to the building (which is more decorative than functional) to the New Richmond School Board at a dedication ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 2.

"It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of this," Jeff Moberg, high school principal, told the audience of roughly 300 people.

New Richmond's last high school opened in 1960, 50 years before the current school.

"This was no small task," he said of getting the school built. "It is the culmination of many different groups working together."

Those groups include the school district, city, architects, construction management team and contractors, he said.

"We held 55 different contracts to get the building built," Moberg said. "I want to thank those people because it's the contractors who come in day in and day out."

It was a long road to opening the school, he said.

Planning the school's design started in 2007, Moberg said. The goal was to design a school that was warm and welcoming along with educationally functional.

"I think we achieved that," he said. "Our instruction technology is second to none ... We're high tech right down to the energy management system."

Moberg said it's very rewarding to see the school open and used.

Last week was Homecoming week for the Tigers and school pride was obvious.

"On Friday 800+ kids came through the doors in anything black and orange they could find -- proud to be a Tiger," he said.

After the dedication ceremony, the public was able to wander the school, visit the petting zoo in the agriculture room, create works of art in the art room, see the SMART Boards in action in the Family and Consumer Science classrooms and watch demonstrations in the metal and wood shops.

"Now the community and their kids can see a number of the features we've built into the building," he said.

As Moberg handed off the microphone, he received a standing ovation from the crowd.