Rutland steps closer to building project
By JANE UTECHT, Staff Reporter
With a majority of the district patrons in favor of a building project, the Rutland School Board took action Monday night to make that a reality.|
Survey results received by the Rutland School Board show that 56 percent of residents in the district approve of building something to handle code issues and growth in student numbers. Twenty-two percent prefer no building addition; 22 percent want to deal only with code issues or re-roofing the gym.
With the majority in favor of building, the school board took action on two items Monday night, steps that take them closer to building a school addition. First they listened to a guest speaker who provided more information on options for construction delivery systems.
Randy Hanson of Mills Construction in Brookings said that public building projects have historically followed the path of Design/Bid/Build (DBB). Another method is Construction Manager at Risk (CM@R). Mills is a CM@R company.
Hanson said there are advantages to both; a DBB is a familiar process and can be simple for the owner (in this case, the school). However, there are some disadvantages with DBB, such as inaccurate estimates, contractor quality is not assured, or change orders may increase final costs. He noted examples of these problems with some recent area construction projects.
A CM@R construction firm assumes risk for the project and the cost with a guaranteed maximum price, Hanson said. If the project goes over the bid, the CM@R absorbs that cost unless the owner initiates the change. With a more complicated or larger project, a CM@R will give better payback, Hanson said, but with smaller projects there are still advantages to a CM@R.
The CM@R oversees the project, including the constructability of the architectural designs, so that if a design is visually pleasing but expensive to build, the CM@R company can intervene at an early stage and suggest less expensive alternatives. They also oversee the bid process, subcontractors and suppliers, so a CM@R company provides better quality construction.
There is less chance for errors or omissions, Hanson said. They can also write the bids to tailor jobs for local contractors, although those companies would still need to be the low bidder, he said.
There is a similar fee for both; a typical CM@R will charge 5-6 percent of the project cost; a DBB will charge 4-6 percent.
School board member Terry Wicks asked about the process of choosing a CM@R. Hanson said that a public entity such as a school does not have to accept a CM@R based on low bid because it is a professional service and may be chosen based on their experience, qualification and ability to work. The chosen company will then take care of the bidding process, but will open bids in front of the board. Those will have to be awarded to the lowest bidder.
With that information at hand, and more information from the superintendent regarding the district survey, the board voted unanimously to proceed with the protocol to hire a CM@R. That process takes about two weeks to advertise for a company.
Board member Brooke Albertson said using a CM@R was a "good way to get the best for the money we're spending."
The board also voted to sign a contract with Koch Hazard for architectural services.
By moving forward now, the school board should be able to get soil testing done before the ground freezes, a necessary step to determine estimates for the septic system improvements that are necessary for the school.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
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