Students, staff and community members gathered around the Superior High School gym under sunny spring skies on April 25 to watch an historic ground-breaking for the new addition to the school.
“This is a pretty big deal,” said Superior Superintendent Scott Kinney. Members of the facilities committee, Jackson Construction, and school board members were lined up with shovels in-hand to pitch the first pile of dirt on this nearly $3.3 million project. Included in the line-up was facilities manager Hugh Hopwood, committee members Sheeila Miller, Allan Labbe, Chris Clairmont, Ev Schultz, Jeff Schultz and Charlie Crabb and school board members Michelle Parkin and Stacy Conrow-Ververis.
“This is something that hasn’t been done in this school district since 1995. It’s a rare opportunity,” Kinney said.
The levy for the project was approved by voters last October with the new addition slated to be ready by this November. The 14,000 foot, L-shaped addition will extend from the current gym wall following the perimeter and house four classrooms, a health education room, along with wood and machine shops. It replaced the old junior high building, which has fallen into disrepair and will be torn down.
Dan McGee, president of Building, Mind and Body LLC, acts as the liaison between the contractors and the district. He will be talking to the student body about safety issues regarding the construction site.
“The school board was concerned about student safety since construction is starting while school is still in session,” he said.
All work crew members must wear a badge and check in daily. They all have had background checks and are not allowed to interact with the students. Students are asked to report any suspicious behavior to school authorities.
McGee said he’s been working with the district for four years and is excited to see the project begin. The architect, Marie Wilson, is going to be doing some Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math or STEM projects with the students. As a part of the STEM project, Darren Haskins, with Haskins Excavation, will be working with students interested in the work he’s doing. Students can also become involved with the Jackson Construction apprenticeship program. This program is for students 16 years and older and they can get paid over the summer for their work.
The school’s welding class and some other class projects may also be involved throughout the construction phase.