Superior School District, construction manager mull options for cracked floors at SHS

Work at SHS and Cooper Elementary, approved by a 2016 referendum vote, is nearing completion.
A large crack runs all the way across the hallway of the second floor at Superior High School. (Jed Carlson /

The School District of Superior is wrapping up $92.5 million in building upgrades. Approved by voters in 2016, the bond referendum included safety updates at a number of schools, the renovation of Superior High School and a new Cooper Elementary School.

At Superior High School, the last two items on the punchlist are railings for the outdoor courtyard and a resolution for spiderweb cracks that can be seen on the concrete floors of the second and third levels of the three-story academic wing.

“Currently, Kraus-Anderson, LBH and the subcontractor are working proactively to resolve the situation to our satisfaction,” District Administrator Amy Starzecki said. “I do not know if the issues will be resolved by the start of school or our grand opening this fall, but I am hoping that is the case.”

Kraus-Anderson provided construction management of both projects; LHB provided design and engineering services.

On those two floors, the concrete slab floor rests on a steel deck. Spiderweb cracks like those seen at SHS often occur in such situations, said Senior Project Manager Patrick Gallagher with Kraus-Anderson Construction.


“They’re not structural cracks; there’s no problem with the structure itself,” he said.

Such cracks usually remain unseen under a floor covering, Gallagher said, but the SHS project calls for exposed concrete floors.
A large crack runs all the way across the hallway of the second floor at Superior High School. (Jed Carlson /

“In this case, seeing how it’s the finished product, they’re just not happy with that, so we’re working through some options to fix it,” he said.

Meanwhile, demolition is wrapping up at Cooper Elementary School. The remnants of the old Cooper will be separated into piles for recycling before being hauled away. Then parking lots and ponds will be added. Work on the playground is expected to begin Aug. 12 and should take two weeks to complete.

The Cooper site is also expected to be finished before school starts Sept. 3.

Groundbreaking for both Cooper and SHS projects took place in April 2017. Damage from a fire that broke out in the Cooper building in April 2018 delayed the school’s opening by a year.


“It’s been a long haul, especially with the fire that happened at Cooper,” Gallagher said, but added that the district has been a good partner throughout construction.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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