Wisconsin High School Wraps Dynamic Expansion Project

By Eric Althoff

ST. CROIX FALLS, Wis.—General contracting firm Kraus-Anderson has completed $13.5 million in additions to St. Croix Falls High School, located approximately 50 miles east of Minneapolis just over the Wisconsin border.

The marquee piece of the addition is a 21,000-square-foot fine arts center, which will seat nearly 600 people in its music and performing arts auditorium. The fine arts center will be home to several performances by St. Croix Falls’ arts and music programs as well as visiting ensembles to stage musicals, concerts and various other performing arts. Group learning will also be feasible in the performing arts space, thereby freeing up additional space on campus for other purposes. A partnership is being established between the school’s performing arts center and the city’s Civic Auditorium.

Other pieces of the addition include a 6,400-square-foot fitness center that will be perfect for group classes and sports events. The space will also be utilized for extracurricular training and provide extra storage for the physical education department.

The third part of the expansion entails a 300-square-foot “wash bay” that will be adjacent to the existing garages that service the district’s buses and official vehicles for maintenance purposes.

The additions were designed by DSGW, based in Duluth, Minn.

“There is no greater reward than successfully completing a K-12 construction project knowing the end result will have an immediate and long-lasting impact on both the educational and extra-curricular opportunities afforded to all students,” Mike Phillips, Kraus-Anderson’s project manager for the St. Croix Falls High School project, said in an email sent to School Construction News. “I am extremely proud of the St. Croix Falls administration, KA’s project team and DSGW Architects, and cannot wait for the students and community members to experience their new space.”

DSGW’s other education-related projects include the 66,030-square-foot Duluth Public Schools in Duluth and the 84,940-square-foot Spero Academy in Brooklyn Park.

The St. Croix Falls High School project first broke ground in April 2021. It represents just one part of Kraus-Anderson’s “Summer Sprint,” which the contractor pushed through in its bid to complete as much educational construction work as feasible before the winter months mothball such efforts until the spring.

Kraus-Anderson, founded in 1897, offers services in construction management and real estate development. The firm operates from its Minneapolis headquarters but also has offices in Duluth, Bemidji and Rochester in Minnesota, as well as other locations in Milwaukee and Madison in next-door Wisconsin and one in North Dakota’s capital of Bismarck.