Minneapolis, Minnesota

FAIR School Downtown

Midwest USA
West Metro Education Program (WMEP)
Project Size
102,500 Square Feet

New Construction, Magnet School, Urban

The FAIR School Downtown, built atop a city-owned underground parking ramp in downtown Minneapolis and adjacent to a University of St. Thomas building, was a cooperative effort originally designed by Cuningham Group as an integrated magnet K-12 school for 600 students. The school has since adopted a fine arts, interdisciplinary focus for grades K-3 and 9-12. Cuningham Group assisted the school with pre-design services to help determine the facility implications of the new curriculum.


The school utilizes the urban downtown environment and its resources to make appropriate and full use of advanced technologies, hands-on experiential learning, and multi-cultural learning. Partnerships with downtown business, government and arts communities provide students with off-site learning settings to complement their overall education and growth.


KnowledgeWorks Foundation
“Schools as Centers of Community:A National Search for Excellence” Honor Society Award, 2004

American Institute of Architects Minneapolis
Merit Award, 2002

American Association of School Administrators (AASA), American Institute of Architects (AIA), and Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI)
Walter Taylor Award, 2001

Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI)
James D. MacConnell Award, 2000

National School Boards Association (NSBA)
Exhibition of School Architecture Citation, 2000

American Institute of Architects Minnesota
Honor Award, 1999

Council for Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI)
Exhibition of School Architecture Project of Distinction, 1999