Home of the Wolverines takes shape | Hometown Focus

The spacious commons at Rock Ridge High School includes a cedar ceiling and a balcony space. The school is under construction between Eveleth and Virginia and will open in fall 2023. Submitted photos.

The spacious commons at Rock Ridge High School includes a cedar ceiling and a balcony space. The school is under construction between Eveleth and Virginia and will open in fall 2023. Submitted photos.

Early in November, Eveleth-Gilbert High School’s 9th grade Exploring Literature and Professional Speaking classes toured the build sites of both Laurentian Elementary School and Rock Ridge High School. Hometown Focus featured the photographs and descriptions of the elementary school in the December 17 edition. Completion of Rock Ridge High School is slated for winter of 2022/2023, and the high school will open its doors for 7th through 12th graders in fall 2023. RRHS will welcome students from the former Virginia and Eveleth-Gilbert school districts.

Similar to the students’ experience at Laurentian Elementary, they brainstormed questions for their Kraus-Anderson Construction tour guides to inform their writing. Each student was assigned to a section of the school—descriptions feature the music suite, auditorium, gym, athletic commons, commons, building construction room, and pool. The learning wings did not yet resemble their final forms enough for students to depict those spaces. Rock Ridge High School will provide flexible and beautiful spaces for teachers and students alike to learn and grow well into the future. —Elisa Boe, EGHS teacher




The commons area will include the cafeteria, a snack and coffee shop, and comfy seating for students to eat lunch. The commons has two floors, the second floor being more of a balcony. The ceiling is made out of cedar wood which makes the space very bright and feel very open. Floor to ceiling windows will also make it feel very comfortable and open. The design team decided that a fluid applied flooring would be best because it is like an epoxy which will be very easy to clean. I can’t wait to eat, do homework, and hang out with my friends in the new Rock Ridge High School commons. —L. J.

The high school commons is located in the southwest portion of the building. First, the flooring of the commons is made of fluid applied flooring, which is kind of like an epoxy flooring. The ceilings are made out of cedar wood. In the front of the room there are floor to ceiling columns made out of Douglas fir wood. There is an upstairs of the commons that overlooks the bottom view. The commons will be a great environment for students to hang out, do their homework with friends, and eat with friends. —N. K.

This view from the stage of the RRHS auditorium shows the orchestra pit and the 850-seat house. The auditorium is adjacent to the music suite and the building construction shop.

This view from the stage of the RRHS auditorium shows the orchestra pit and the 850-seat house. The auditorium is adjacent to the music suite and the building construction shop.


The Rock Ridge auditorium has multiple new features including a capacity of 850 people. There will be a small balcony above the audience used for lights, cameras and other technical materials. The pit is designed to fit 30 people and can also be covered with wood paneling used for extra seating or for additional stage space. There is a spiral staircase on the side of the stage that leads up to the catwalk, where the rigging platform is. Having 12 different curtains in the auditorium provides variety for all performances. Dressing rooms will be easily accessible being down the hall near the music suite. New features in the auditorium will ensure better quality performances, more capacity than the auditoriums in Eveleth and Gilbert, and stronger maintenance. —R. D.

The Rock Ridge auditorium will be a perfect space for all performing arts. The auditorium has improved features compared to the other schools. It will have a theater catwalk, acoustical theater shell, doorways that lead to the wood shop and dressing rooms, and a whole rigging system that will have a set of 12 different black curtains. There is also a spiral staircase that leads up to the rigging platform and a musical pit that fits about 30 musicians. The theater that has a balcony holds 850 seats. All the chairs will be really comfortable for each individual. The auditorium will be a great place to see people perform and it will be exciting to see the curtain go up. —S. N.

The Rock Ridge High School auditorium is huge; it fits 850 people at a time. Lights will be cloud-like structures; they will be next to the catwalk and throughout the room. The ceiling is 50 feet high. The theater dressing rooms are next to the choir and orchestra room. There is a spiral staircase that leads to the rigging system on top of the stage. There’s an acoustic shell that can be taken out and put back in that is on the stage. There’s a pit that fits 30 people with panels to cover the pit if the orchestra isn’t performing. The auditorium is coming together very well, it’ll be one of the best rooms in the school. —T. S.

The Rock Ridge High School auditorium is one of the school’s main features. Its capacity is 850 in the audience, including the balcony where the cameras and other maintenance will go. The orchestra pit can hold up to 30 people, and wood paneling is going to fit over the top to either be an add-on to the stage or to have more space for audience seating. A spiral staircase leads up to a rigging platform so students and staff can operate the curtains during a performance. The dressing rooms are located in the music suite. Viewing windows are on the left side of the auditorium. —A. F.

Music suite

The high school’s music wing is spacious; it has rooms for band, orchestra, and choir. The music rooms are a good size for the students to fit in; a ton of students can fit in each room. The rooms are soundproof which is very good for each one of the classes so they do not distract each other. There will be risers in the choir room which means they can practice as if they are on a stage, which is quite good for practicing for concerts. There are about five small spaces outside that are for practicing that are also soundproof; they give off a comfortable vibe and they are situated next to the storage closet for the band and orchestra students. —C. B.

In the new Rock Ridge High School music suite, there will be nine rooms in total: one each for choir, band, and orchestra, then five small solo practicing rooms and a storage closet for instruments. All the rooms are completely soundproof with scattered lights all around. There will be risers in the three main music rooms, the same ones that are at the school in Virginia. The small music rooms fit one to five people and are for one-on-one lessons for students, practicing solos, or just a private room to use for individual music practice. The suite is very well organized and future students will like it. —C. V.


The new Rock Ridge High School gym will be a great environment for athletes. Athletes will be playing on maple wood flooring and the score will be kept on a Jumbotron. The whole gym can divide into three different courts for tournaments, fitting 1,400 people in the bleachers! Locker rooms are underneath the gym for athletes to put their belongings. The big Rock Ridge logo will be in the center of the floor along with other small ones on the sides. A big detail in the gym is a window into the gym so when spectators go into the athletic commons to purchase concessions, they can still watch the game through the window! Athletes will enjoy playing in the high school gym! —M. N.

In the Rock Ridge High School gym there is a scoreboard with Jumbotron capabilities. The floor of the gym is maple wood. There are going to be two dividers to divide the gym into three different courts. In the middle of the gym floor there will be a Rock Ridge logo. For easy access, the locker rooms and fitness center are under the gym. The walls are glass, so everybody that goes and gets concessions can watch the game at all times. The bleacher capacity is 1,400, there will be tons of room for everybody. The gym is going to be exciting to play in the near future. —A. W.

Swimming pool

The Rock Ridge High School pool is going to be for the swimmers and for the community. The pool has eight lanes and is 25 yards long. The deepest part of the pool is 14 feet. At the shallow end it’s five feet deep. Diving blocks will be by the wall. Multiple diving boards will be used to have more people be able to practice at once. The bleachers are on the right side of the pool and are cement so they can’t be retracted. A huge window looks in from the hallway into the pool. There will be bleachers behind the windows to watch. The concessions are in the athletic commons. —M. G.

The high school pool’s deepest point is 14 feet and the shallowest the pool can go is five feet. This pool is by far one of the best pools because it has so much seating and space and an athletics commons. The seating in the pool has bleachers that are on the right side of the pool as seen from the commons. In the gym across from the pool area there are glass windows that spectators can see across and so they can watch volleyball, basketball and other sports. This pool has so much action going on through the meets, sections or maybe even state! —M. W.

The Rock Ridge High School pool will be 14 feet at the deepest and five feet at the shallowest point. Eight lanes will be included, and it is 25 yards long. Multiple diving boards are going to be on the side of the pool. Built-in bleachers will be off the side of the pool and have a great view of the entire pool and a large window will provide viewing from the athletic commons. Another set of bleachers will be on the other side of the window so spectators can look in from the athletic commons. —A. C.

Athletic commons

The athletic commons is one room which looks into both the pool and the gym. The flooring in the athletic commons will either be carpet or rubber flooring. The main entrance to the gym and pool is through the athletic commons, which will have a concessions stand. The athletic commons will be a space to sit and watch sporting events and do homework. —L. P.

Building construction

The building construction room in the new Rock Ridge High School has a three-ton crane so it can move things outside. Inside of the building is a garage-style door. The equipment in the building construction room will be high quality for people to use. Thirty students can work in the wood room at one time. The building construction room is by the auditorium so if the class has something to build for the auditorium it will be easier to move their projects from the shop to the auditorium. —L. M.

Inside the building construction classroom there is a crane to lift heavy objects like a mini house if a construction or woods class builds it in class. The ceiling in the shop was about two and a half stories tall. To carry the heavy objects out of the building there is an industrial-sized garage door that could fit a truck to carry those objects out of the building. —W. K.

The building construction classroom was really cool. I really like the crane that can slide across the ceiling and carry a lot of equipment. The crane can hold up to three tons worth of equipment! —C. L.

Additional paragraphs about Rock Ridge High School have been added to the online version of this article. Construction updates are posted at www.rrps.org.

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