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School building projects take shape

Janna Stevens

As we head into summer, our work on projects for enhancing and improving the facilities in our school district ramps up.

In May, staff, students and community members were invited to participate in a "block building workshop" at Cooper Elementary and Superior High School. It literally means what you must be envisioning. We were divided into groups and given the task of using the blocks to construct how the buildings might be designed. Prior to starting, the groups were given some advice on sun, wind and layout from Kevin Holm, lead architect on the project. Kevin also reminded the group to think out of the box to get the most creative ideas.

This was another great opportunity to get more input on how the final designs will look. The LHB team took all the ideas from the listening sessions and the block building workshop to create different designs concepts for Cooper and SHS. We still have a lot of work to accomplish before the final design is approved and put out for bid, which will take place in December or January, but it sure is exciting.

Cooper and Superior High School are not the only projects in the works this summer. Parking lot designs for Four Corners and Lake Superior elementary schools are complete. We hope to break ground on these projects in July after the bid process is finalized. We know it to be a bit messy this summer, but Kraus Anderson has mapped out a plan so we can still hold summer school at both of these buildings. Our goal is to have both lots complete before the start of the school year.

Roof designs are also finalized for Great Lakes and Bryant elementary schools. Bids were opened June 30. The Board awarded the roof project to Jamar Company with the rough carpentry work awarded to Lipe Brothers Construction. The project will begin in mid-July and will wrap up in the fall. Teaching and learning will not be substantially impacted at these elementary schools.

Security is also in our summer plans. Designs have been completed for enhancements to security at Northern Lights, Great Lakes, Lake Superior, Four Corners, Bryant and Superior Middle School. Security at Superior High School and Cooper will be completed as a part of the new building construction. Our goal is to have the secure entrances completed before the start of the school year.

Finally, our turf softball field is well under way. We are thrilled the field will be located at Superior High School just south of the football field. This will require the relocation of our tennis courts and two garages. The tennis courts will move into the NBC Spartan Sports Complex between the football stadium and the baseball field. Our goal is to have the entire project complete for the 2016-2017 sport seasons. Our NBC Spartan Complex will be the best in the state.

As you can see, we are working very hard over the summer to get everything in place. Our timeline may be a little too optimistic as the weather can put a damper on our efforts, but we are thinking positively!

Janna Stevens is the Superior school district administrator.