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SHS circle demo begins

(Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com) The wall of the copy room on the second floor of the circle can be seen as demolition work continues at Superior High School on Wednesday afternoon. 1 / 4
Demolition work begins on the circle at Superior High School on Monday afternoon. With students on vacation, construction, demolition and finishing work continues on the nearly $60 million high school building project, part of a $92.5 million referendum approved by voters in 2016. Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com 2 / 4
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Demolition of Superior High School’s iconic circle began Monday. Assistant Principal Steve Olson confirmed shortly before noon that the work was underway.

One truckload of bricks from the circle will be placed on the west side of the parking lot along North 28th Street across from the school for the public to take.

“Bricks will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis,” SHS Principal Greg Posewitz said. There will be no cost.

A time for brick pickup has not yet been determined. When a date is set, it will be shared on the district’s Facebook page and via press release, according to administrative assistant Kelly Pugh.

Although school is out for summer, the high school opens its doors to approximately 125 workers a day as demolition, new construction and renovation continues at the site.

At this point, said project manager Dan Nelson with Kraus-Anderson Construction, the nearly $60 million SHS renovation is on budget and on schedule. The building is set to be turned over to the district Aug. 31. The first day of school for the Superior School District is Sept. 10.

“We're going to make it," Nelson said.

If areas are done earlier, he said, they’ll get turned over earlier.

“It’s just a big coordination effort between Kraus Anderson and the school district and really, it’s been going well,” Nelson said.

To date, the new administration offices, kitchen area, auditorium remodeling, Performing Arts Center addition and pool upgrades have been completed.

The old kitchen and cafeteria have been torn down and demolition on the classroom section beside the circle is 50 percent complete.

Circle demolition started Monday. The area where it sits is slated to become a parking lot.

Meanwhile, crews are finishing up the three-story academic wing, which features large windows, flexible, small-group learning spaces and a sweeping grand stairwell.

Because of the tight timeline, no open house is planned for students, parents or community members prior to the first day of school. That’s typical with school construction, Nelson said.

He pointed out that construction will continue until the final pieces of the project — the north commons space and two-stage gym — are completed.

“That's not scheduled to be done until January of 2019,” Nelson said.

Throughout the process, the district has been an active partner. That translates into big savings for taxpayers, according to senior project manager Pat Gallagher.

“We basically have been operating 360 degrees around an operating school for a whole year and doing construction,” he said. There wasn’t a section of the school that work crews didn’t touch, due to the new sprinklers and heating system.

School staff members, particularly Posewitz and Olson, were able to help facilitate construction work while accommodating student needs. They would ask for less music or hammering in certain areas when testing was going on, or quiet was needed. The work crews would adjust and continue. Gallagher called the partnership “amazing.”

“I mean, if there wasn’t that much cooperation, we would not be ready in August to open the school,” he said. “I can truthfully say that.”

Although the new administration offices are finished and ready for turnover, the main office, treasurer and athletic department are operating out of the technical education area of the school for the summer due to ongoing demolition. Visitors are asked to park in the east lot and use door 16 to access the temporary offices.

Visit superior.k12.wi.us or the School District of Superior WI Facebook page for updated construction information.