Milton School District bids for construction management firm

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Jake Magee
July 21, 2015

MILTON—With the school board's unanimous vote Monday night, the district will have a construction management firm on board by mid to late August to help conduct its facility needs study.

The board had previously held off on putting out a request for proposals for a construction manager in effort to not panic residents with the possibility of construction. Now that Plunkett Raysich Architects, the firm the district hired to conduct the study, has presented its preliminary findings to the community, district officials feel it's time to get a construction manager involved.

Putting out a request now means the district will have someone hired before a second community engagement meeting. During that meeting, the district hopes to present a more narrow list of options along with cost estimates from the construction manager.

“I think having that next meeting with numbers and more definition to potential projects is what the community is looking for now,” Superintendent Tim Schigur said.

Construction management firms are often hired under the pretense they'll be taken on as project managers in the event construction is necessary, board member Robert Roy said.

That's not the case here.

The district will put out a request for proposals under the condition that a construction management firm will be hired for preconstruction consulting only. The district wants to avoid the potential of being pressured into building by any outside source, communications supervisor Jerry Schuetz said.

If the district does decide to build, it would put out a second proposal request for a project manager, he said.

According to a memo from Plunkett Raysich, companies will have until noon Tuesday, Aug. 4, to submit a response to the proposals request. Due to the quick turnaround, the district is sending the request directly to four major firms including CG Schmidt, JP Cullen, J.H. Findorff & Son and Miron Construction.

A link to the request for proposals will be available on the district website.

District officials will come up with a short list of applicants by Thursday, Aug. 6, and interview firms and hire one the week of Aug. 10, according to the memo.

The firm will help narrow down the 12 options Plunkett Raysich originally presented to residents at the July 8 community engagement meeting and give cost estimates for each. The options, along with several sub-options for each, were:

—Address maintenance and needs at current buildings with no new construction or expansion.

—Renovate and expand the existing middle school and high school without building any new schools.

—Build a new middle school while renovating the existing schools.

—Build a new high school while renovating the existing schools.

Feedback from residents at the meeting shows most were in favor of building a new high school and converting the middle school to an elementary school. The current high school is 50 years old, and education and technology are evolving, Schigur said.

“It's not just talking about let's build a new high school. It's how do we meet the educational needs of our students, and that's a much broader picture,” said Betsy Lubke, strategic planning committee chairwoman.

“Whatever we do, we want it to last another 50 years,” Schigur said.

A second community engagement meeting is tentatively planned for Wednesday, Aug. 26. Board members and other district stakeholders will meet at the district offices 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 29, to examine results from the first community meeting.

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