Manila board discusses building options

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Architect Jerry Brackett with Brackett, Krennerich and Associates spoke to the Manila School Board members giving an overview of the different methods of construction available to the district. He spoke to them on the pros and cons of using construction management versus general contractor bids.

The Manila School District recently passed a millage to fund a new elementary building project. The estimated cost will be $4.3 million.

Brackett said on the plus side of using a general contractor bid the district is getting the absolute lowest bid. He pointed out with the economy the way it is, there are a lot of people needing work and bids will come from all over. Some bidders may not be familiar with the regulations required. The general contractor becomes the sole source contractor.

He explained if the board decides to go with the construction manager method, the manager works for the school district. The construction manager has more control on quality. With the construction manager, bids are still submitted and can be accepted on the history of the companies work.

"I have worked with both methods and I am not here to tell you which way to go," Brackett said. "I just want to explain the difference and answer any questions the board may have.

"I don't care which method you go with," Brackett said. "I have worked with all of them. When the economy is better I prefer general contract bids. Lately we have seen a lot of projects going with construction management."

He said even if the district advertises for construction managers and conducts interviews, they are not committed to go with the construction manager method until the contract is signed. He cautioned them to evaluate the construction managers closely.

Brackett said he had seen money turned back to the district at the end of the building projects using construction managers.

Brackett said he would work with the board and be glad to answer any questions.

The board agreed to advertise for a construction manager and set up selected interviews at the February meeting before making their final decision.

Following an executive session, the board voted unanimously to extend Superintendent Pam Castor's contract for an additional year taking it to June 30, 2012.

In administrative reports Mrs. Castor read a thank you note from the Edward Evans family. She also recognized Robin Baugher, assistant elementary principal, for having her work published in the magazine, Education Around the World. It featured the job fair conducted at Manila School.

"I want to recognize her for a job well done," Castor said.

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