Superior High School band students will settle into their new digs next week. Classes are slated to begin in the completed band room Tuesday, according to project manager Dan Nelson with Kraus-Anderson Construction.
The room, which includes hanging clouds of ceiling tiles and specialty lockers, will be turned over for district use along with three practice rooms, a storage room and a music library room.
Project leaders walked city officials through on Wednesday to discuss emergency routes, test fire alarms and more in the area.
“It’s like we’re turning over a finished project, just with construction that’s going on around it,” Nelson said.
Construction is on schedule and on budget at Superior High School, Nelson said. On a typical day, about 150 construction workers are on-site, with some schedules starting at 7 a.m. and others not ending until 7 p.m.
Officially, the Performing Arts Center won’t be turned over until the fall, but construction of the spaces around it is ahead of schedule, Nelson said, and it could be turned over in May or June. Changes to the PAC will include LED house and work lighting, a ramp from the audience to the stage and the ability to drive a vehicle onto the stage from the nearby receiving area.
Work on the new kitchen and administration wing are also moving along at a good pace, Nelson said. The sooner the kitchen and wedge-shaped commons area can be completed, the better the overall schedule looks.
Once students are eating in the wedge, the existing kitchen and cafeteria can be demolished and work can begin on building more commons space and the new multi-station gym, which is expected to be finished in January 2019.
Tentative plans call for students to begin eating in the new wedge area by April 23.
That would give workers a month’s jump-start on demolition, but it will only happen if separation can be made between the 1,200 students eating lunch and the construction workers nearby.
“If it’s not safe and it’s not separate, than we’re just not going to do it,” Nelson said.
Work is progressing from the bottom-up in the school’s new three-story addition, with mechanical and electrical being installed first, followed by walls. The wall design is an example of value-added engineering. While the bottom half of the walls will be masonry, the top half will be metal studs and sheetrock, which are less expensive.
A resinous flooring in the wedge commons area will also save the district money, as it costs about $15 less per square foot than terrazzo flooring.
The administration area of the school is expected to be completed by June. The existing library media center will be remodeled and open in the fall, the same time as the three-story classroom addition, Nelson said.
He said teachers who have toured the addition have been impressed by how open it is. Large windows will also allow for plenty of natural light.
The Superior High School project is part of a $92.5 million construction referendum approved by voters in 2016. The project included safety, roof and parking lot upgrades at a number of schools in the Superior School District, the construction of a new Cooper Elementary School and the new high school.
More photographs of the construction can be found at superiortelegram.com