Whenever a community passes a school bond, the question always arises: How do I know that the money is being spent well? Since we are more than half-way through the bond projects this is a good time to review the process and answer this question.
As you know, the Coos Bay School District pulled together teams made up of District leadership, a Construction Manager, Architects and their consultants, and General Contractors to not only design and build our schools, but to track the budget and schedules so that they are completed within budget and when the District needs them. Integrity Management Solutions (IMS), the chosen Construction Manager, has management oversight for the entire bond program.
Steele Associates Architects and Chambers Construction have been working closely with IMS and the District since the spring of 2018 to design and construct two new schools and renovate a third: Eastside School, Millicoma School and Marshfield Junior High School. The new Eastside School has been completed and the upgrades are now done at Millicoma School. Construction on the new Marshfield JHS is better than half-way through.
In the meantime, a new playground structure was added under the covered area at Sunset School, while other security improvements are being planned.
Design for a fourth school, Madison School, is nearing completion and construction is expected to begin there this summer. Local Architect HGE and local builder Scott Partney Construction were hired for the design and construction of this project.
Whew! That’s a lot in less than three years! But how does that all work?
For each project the Architect, General Contractor, and Construction Manager work with the District to coordinate design and constructability, solve problems, prepare cost and schedule estimates, and refine both. Additional consultants for surveying, hazardous materials mitigation and geotechnical engineering are also hired early in design to provide their expertise to the project.
During construction, the same team is actively engaged each week to solve issues, resolve unexpected costs, eliminate schedule delays, and inspect for quality. In addition, the Construction Manager consistently walks the project to make sure the District’s goals are met and to verify the project stays on schedule and within budget.
Throughout the process, a number of inspections are scheduled to ensure quality. In addition to the contractor’s own Quality Control personnel, the Architect inspects the project for items that need to be finished or reworked. A third-party Commissioning Agent evaluates and refines the building operating systems like heating and cooling. The City inspector reviews construction throughout and provides a final Certificate of Occupancy signifying that the project meets all code requirements and is safe for use.
Once this is all done, the District takes possession of the property. School staff use the facility and report anything they find that may not be working right or that they need training for. 11 months later the Construction Manager brings the Architect and General Contractor back for a final review with the Facilities Manager and other key District leaders. This Warranty Walk is the final layer of confirmation that the District has received a valuable product that meets their needs.
Overall, more than 75% of the bond project funds have been committed to the active projects with the next big chunk being applied towards Madison School this spring. The Eastside and Millicoma School projects finished more than half a million dollars under budget, and the Marshield Junior High is on-track with similar savings expected. The Coos Bay School District plans to use these excess funds for other improvements at Sunset and Millicoma Schools once the budget for the Madison School improvements is finalized.
The companies involved with these projects are all working very hard to make sure that the families of Coos Bay receive a great product for their Bond dollars.If you have questions please remember you can email IMS, our Construction Management Consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nancy will be happy to answer your questions.