Milton School District hires J.P. Cullen as construction management consultant

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Jake Magee
August 11, 2015

MILTON—After five hours of interviews, the Milton School Board on Monday voted to hire J.P. Cullen as its construction management firm as the district begins to finalize a decision regarding its facilities' needs.

The district hired J.P. Cullen at no cost on the basis that Cullen would be the district's consultant through the end of the process, including any likely renovation or construction. In that event, J.P. Cullen would receive 1.61 percent of total project costs for construction management services, the lowest among all submitted proposals, according to a news release.

Bids from the other three firms—J.H. Findorff & Son Inc., CG Schmidt and Miron Construction—were similar, but J.P. Cullen came out on top.

“They had a great presentation. They have the experience and the capacity to handle the project size that we are considering,” Superintendent Tim Schigur said. “It was like splitting hairs in many ways."

“We felt that Cullen did rise above the other three, but it was not an easy decision,” board President Jon Cruzan said after the unanimous decision to hire Cullen. “This is not without a lot of thought and deliberation we've taken this step. We feel this is going to be the best step going forward.”

The dozen or so options and sub-options originally presented to the community have been narrowed to three. They are:

-- Addressing maintenance needs at current buildings.

-- Building a new high school

-- Building a new high school in phases, which was recently added as a “middle ground” between the other two options.

J.P. Cullen will meet with Plunkett Raysich Architects, the firm the district hired to conduct the facility needs study, and a financial adviser to determine estimates for how much each option would cost, both in total and to the average taxpayer, Superintendent Tim Schigur said.

“We want to make sure we get the costs for the different options and get them as accurate as possible because once you get a number out there, it tends to stick in people's heads,” he said.

Officials will present their findings to the public at a second community engagement meeting set for the first week of September. The district hopes to have a final decision on what it will build by October.

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