Grand Forks Central High School Fine Arts Addition

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Built in 1882, Grand Forks Central High School has seen generation upon generation of students pass through its hallways as the city around it has grown and changed and Central has changed with it. The building has grown gracefully over the years to meet the evolving needs of students within the district. Throughout its history JLG has worked for Central High School a number of times over the past 20 years, on projects such as renovations to the original building (1917) and auditorium (1937), and an addition that converted the original gymnasium (1926) into the library and created a new music, gymnasium and pool space.

Historic Renovation As a historic building in the heart of downtown Grand Forks, ND, it was important that any additions honor the existing building, while still meeting the needs of modern users. The new Fine Arts wing respects the building’s original character inside and out. The new addition is a modern performing space, providing a variety of black box theater space, music performance rooms, and practice space to give the department room to grow while setting the stage for students to shine. The renovations to the historic theater honor the past by reclaiming seats lost backstage and making performances feel more intimate than ever before.

Center Stage The Fine Arts Wing addition and remodel created a centralized home for the scattered music department and a revitalization of the historic 1937 theater. The auditorium was given a much-needed backstage and set storage area, and the balcony, previously closed off to the Arts Department for 30 years, was reopened and given new life.

JLG completed the fine arts project in conjunction with Perkins+Will.

Awards & Certifications

  • 2013 – AIA North Dakota: Honor Award

Completion Date


The Central High School Fine Arts project received the 2013 Honor Award from the North Dakota chapter of the American Institute of Architects.