USD 489 BOE discusses construction plans for school bond

BY ALICIA FEYERHERM

Construction planning is underway for the recently approved USD 489 School Bond. 

Preconstruction Manager for Nabholz Construction, Preston Moore, spoke at Tuesday’s board meeting about the bid process and budgeting. 

Nabholz has worked with building schools for over 50 years and has been involved with the district since the first bond proposal seven years ago. 

“We are exceptionally excited to be moving forward after all the hard work that’s been put in on these projects,” Moore said.

The construction process is complex and will require several stages, but Nabholz is committed to doing things “by the letter.” 

“In addition to learning our crafts and our trade in construction we also have to understand the laws of procurement in a public entity setting,” Moore said.

Right now, the architecture company DLR has been working on the schematic level of design. Moore emphasized that schematic designs are not constructible and are simply preliminary plans. 

“It’s a concept idea to get you all’s blessing before moving on into those other later design phases,” Moore said. 

Once those later design phases are completed, Nabholz will invite contractors to a local contractor summit. 

“We’re not going to be advertising out into Wichita and outer locations like that, we really want the local folks to have a sneak peek behind the curtains ahead of everyone else,” Moore said.

Moore said local contractors have already expressed interest in the school projects.

“Everybody wants a chance to work on the school where they went to high school or where their kids are currently in school,” Moore said. 

This will lead up to Bid Day where Nabholz will collect bids from interested contractors. The week following Bid Day, Nabholz will analyze bids and determine the most qualified contractor.

“We want the lowest bidder, too, but we want that lowest bidder to actually have all of the work in place that we ask them to,” Moore said. 

Nabholz will present a preferred bidder list to the board. 

“This is open book, this is all a collaborative environment with you all,” Moore said. “You still have the right to reject any and all bids even with the construction management at risk situation.”

Once bids have been accepted, Nabholz will present an amendment to the district’s current contract to include maximum price amendments. Moore explained that the district does currently have a contract with Nabholz, but it is set for zero dollars. 

“We will have multiple guaranteed maximum price amendments as we have multiple projects that will be in different phases of design and different phases of construction,” Moore said.

Even though the price amendments will happen in phases, Moore reassures the board that they will stay within budget.

“We’re still keeping our pulse and our thumb on that budget across the boards,” Moore said. 

Nabholz will provide budget updates at set milestones. Moore expects the first budget update to be available in late October or early November. 

Board President Craig Pallister thanked Moore for his time and explanation. 

“This is good information because I know all of us have been wanting to see this project start, but there’s so much planning and preparation to go before we take those baby steps to get started,” Pallister said.

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