The board of trustees of the Blanco Independent School District met again on Monday, June 20, to consider the construction delivery option for the elementary school project.
Present were trustees Darrel Wagner, Charles Riley, Matt Herden, Kirk Felps, Troy Immel, and Tim Nance. Superintendent Dr. Buck Ford and business manager Kay Fraser were also present.
Since bond proposition 1 passed in the recent election, the school district has been swift to act on the project. Architect Randy Fromberg and attorneys Paul Hunn and Matt Burns made presentations at the previous Monday's regular board meeting.
While Fromberg and his company have been working on the design of the elementary school's additions and renovations, the school board has been tasked with deciding how to proceed with the construction phase.
Two options were highlighted: Three-party (district/owner, architect, general contractor) and construction manager at-risk. A construction manager at-risk is similar to the standard three-party option, but the manager will be brought in earlier and also be a part of the design process.
Trustee Nance asked about the "at-risk" portion of the second option. Fromberg explained that a construction manager prices a design plan and gives a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) with a cushion for unforeseen difficulties. If the project goes beyond the GMP, the manager is responsible for making up the difference. As the manager is with the project from the design phase, when Fromberg and the manager can work together, the GMP will be less than the bond.
The construction manager is in the project from ground zero, Wagner said, and can't punch design plans to death. The at-risk option cuts down on change orders and bickering, and makes for better quality plans, Wagner explained. A construction manager is there to help, not pick apart the designs, Wagner added.
Felps made a motion to adopt a resolution to specify using the construction manager at-risk method for construction services, with the superintendent as the authority. Wagner seconded the motion and the board approved the motion unanimously.
Fromberg reported that his company had prepared a draft for solicitation of bids due July 6. The process is moving fairly quickly and it was best to get someone onboard as soon as possible.
Fromberg then explained that a construction manager is paid in four components: lump-sum for preconstruction work, a percentage for management fee, a percentage for bonds and insurance, and a dollar amount per month for field office and other facilities and rentals.
The architect then reported that he had met with food service employees to discuss the cafeteria building. He had also worked with the county forester in regard to the trees on the elementary property. The city's Unified Development Code has ordinances about tree removal. Fromberg's team is working to minimize that. Trees provide shade and help eliminate ongoing costs. Drainage is also an issue with the property. The complete schematic design will be done by mid-July, Fromberg stated, which will include site plan, floor plans for classroom and cafeteria, and a digital model.
Nance asked Fromberg to take the tree limbs and branches into account, as they could interfere with the new buildings' eaves. Fromberg said that the site survey includes the angle and height of the trees.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:18pm.