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Divided equally

Janesville high schools see big changes

Photos by J.P. Cullen Creative

Photos by J.P. Cullen Creative

The $70.8 million expansion and remodeling project at Craig and Parker high schools in Janesville was an exercise in equality and economy.

With each high school striving for big improvements, the project easily could have turned into a competition between the two, but both schools got plenty of work, said Larry Bray, principal architect with Bray Associates-Architects Inc., Sheboygan.

“Anything and everything that’s usually done on projects was done with these two,” he said. “New heating system, new gymnasium, new science rooms, new kitchen, remodeled cafeteria, tennis courts, parking lot, retentions.”

To accommodate the changes, Parker High School added 140,493 square feet of space, and Craig High School added 103,444 square feet.

Getting the work done was partly a matter of knowing when to divide tasks and duplicate efforts and when to concentrate efforts with one person or a small group, Bray said.

For example, the project had one design architect, but two construction document architects; one would never have been able to do the work on time for two schools, he said.

For continuity, Bray said, one general contractor — J.P. Cullen & Sons Inc., Janesville — and one mechanical contractor — North American Mechanical Inc., DeForest — worked on both schools.

“One of the biggest things for the district was making sure we created equity, in terms of spaces at the schools,” he said. “A science room at Parker wanted to have the same amenities at Craig.”

Team leaders spent days roaming the halls of the two schools — each originally less than 300,000 square feet — before designs were finalized and construction began in July 2007.

Once the project was under way, Bray said, project leaders met daily — at Craig in the morning, Parker in the afternoon and at the district office for debriefing at the end of the day — to make sure each school got its fair share of work.

Such close attention to detail allowed project leaders to deliver more than promised, Bray said.

“We put in new flooring where we thought we weren’t going to do new flooring,” he said. “We painted walls and put in new ceilings in places where we didn’t plan to. We planned to repaint some lockers and instead replaced some.

“We knew where the budget was on a day-to-day basis so we could make those decisions.”

Parker and Craig high schools

Location: Janesville

Submitting company: Bray Associates-Architects Inc., Sheboygan

General Contractor: J.P. Cullen & Sons Inc., Janesville

Architect: Bray Associates-Architects Inc.

Engineers: Ambrose Engineering Inc., Cedarburg (structural); Fredericksen Engineering Inc., Mequon (HVAC); Rettler Corp., Stevens Point (civil); Muermann Engineering LLC, Kiel (plumbing,
fire protection)

Owner: Janesville School District

Project size: 426,900 square feet

Project cost: $70.8 million

Start date: July 2007

Completion date: August 2009

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