Excavation Site – Nicholas Senn High School

We recently completed restorative excavation and trenching at Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood.

RW Collins was awarded the demolition and excavation of the historical building's front-east entryway in order to meet ADA compliance requirements. Our demolition activities consisted of carefully breaking and removing all stair concrete, sidewalk concrete, and planter box concrete. Additionally, we exposed the 105-year-old limestone block footings and provided support for new underground sewer piping.

The project totaled 120-man hours, 200 cubic yards of concrete removed, 200 cubic yards of soil remediated, and 224 tons of back-fill replaced. Due to the historical significance of the building, the 105-year-old limestone, and the confined work area, our crews worked diligently to complete the project safely and on time.


Home of the Bulldogs, Senn High School was established in 1913 at 5900 North Glenwood Avenue and named after Nicholas Senn, the founder of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States.  In November 2005, an entire wing of the school was converted to the Rickover Naval Academy, the fourth military school in the Chicago public school system.  Alumni of Senn High School include:  Emmy award-winning puppeteer and creator of “Kukla, Fran, and Ollie,” Burr Tillstrom; director, writer, and actor Harold Ramis, responsible for such comedic classics as “Caddyshack,” “Ghostbusters,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” and “Groundhog Day;” creator of the modern day soap opera, Irna Phillips; Emmy and Peabody award-winning writer Scott Simon; radio personality and former co-host of “Monsters in the Morning,” Mike North (who actually dropped out before graduating); former Packers and Cubs player, comedian Shecky Greene, writer Sidney Sheldon, and Herblock (Herbert Lawrence Block), a Pulitzer-Prize winning political cartoonist.  (Herb Block coined the term “McCarthyism” in the 1950s and was legendary for his illustrations critical of Richard Nixon during the Watergate era.) [1]

Project Facts

  • 120 work-hours total
  • John Deere 135G excavator & Caterpillar 299 skid-steer used
  • 200 cubic yards of concrete removed
  • 200 cubic yards of soil remediated
  • 224 tons of back-fill replaced
Senn Excavation
Senn Excavation


[1] Chicago History – Senn High School In Edgewater | Domu