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Infrastructure Imperative

Wausau East High School


In 2000, the Wausau School District began planning a new $43 million dollar, 111-acre, state of the art high school campus. However, the subsurface exploration and geotechnical evaluation program which STS designed and implemented revealed unusual subsurface conditions at the site. The existing site soil was moisture sensitive and frost susceptible. Uneven shallow bedrock present beneath much of the project site caused concerns about differential settlement of foundations. In addition, shallow groundwater caused concerns about excessive moisture leading to possible mold problems.


STS created special earthwork and pavement designs and specifications to manage the difficult subsurface conditions. Foundations were built on soft sand cushions over shallow bedrock to allow for some movement and reduce the effect of differential settlements. Pavement designs incorporated the use of geofabric reinforcing and crushed bedrock base material manufactured on site to improve pavement performance and reduce costs.

To address the shallow groundwater issue, STS designed foundation and slab drainage systems to remove excessive moisture, thereby reducing damp conditions that could promote mold growth within the buildings.

STS provided full-time construction observation and quality assurance testing to help the School District and the General Contractor improve the quality of construction, and provide prompt resolution to concerns as they arose.

Key Benefits
  • STS designed stable yet cost effective foundation systems and pavement systems for building and infrastructure longevity.

  • STS continuous involvement helped document that best practice construction techniques and materials were used throughout the project, increasing the School Districtís confidence in the quality of construction.