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Prior Lake is an exurban city 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis seated next to Savage and Shakopee in Scott County in the state of Minnesota. Surrounding the shores of Lower and Upper Prior Lake, the city lies south of the Minnesota River in an area known as RiverSouth and establishes the urban fringe of the south-southwest portion of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the sixteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States. The population was 27,617 .
Prior Lake was first incorporated as a village in 1891. Prior Lake is one of the oldest cities in the south metro area. The city’s modern rapid growth is due in part to the ease of access for commuters to the rest of the region, via the upgraded State Highway 13
Upper Prior Lake and Lower Prior Lake sit at the center of the city in an elongated shape towards the southwest to Spring Lake. Prior Lake as a whole is the largest lake in the southern metro area.
Following the 1999 Columbine High School Massacre, journalist Elinor Burkett spent a year following students and teachers in Prior Lake High School. She chose Prior Lake as her subject because it was found to be virtually identical to Columbine demographically. She documented her experience in the book Another Planet: A Year in the Life of a Suburban High School.
The City of Prior Lake is within the Prior Lake-Savage School District. Prior Lake -Savage Area Schools serve students in the communities of Prior Lake, Savage, Credit River Township, Spring Lake Township, Sand Creek Township, and Cedar Lake Township.
- Prior Lake High School
- Bridges Alternative Learning Center
- Hidden Oaks Middle School
- Twin Oaks Middle School
- Edgewood School
- Five Hawks Elementary
- Glendale Elementary
- Grainwood Elementary
- Hamilton Ridge Elementary
- Jeffers Pond Elementary
- Westwood Elementary
- Redtail Ridge Elementary
- SAGE Academy
- La Ola De Lago (Spanish immersion school in Edgewood school)
Prior Lake also has a private Roman Catholic parochial school, St. Michael Catholic School, which serves grades PreK through 8. Prior Lake also has a Lutheran church Missouri Synod parochial school, St. Paul’s Lutheran School Prior Lake, which serves children from infant through grade 8.