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School Board Continues its Research on Construction Methods

Last Wednesday, the school board held another facilities meeting, this time inviting Allan Quick of Architectural Studio and Tim Ripp of The Clark Enersen Partners as guests.

In this round of research, attendees focused more on the construction management and design/build methods of construction.

According to information presented by The Clark Enersen Partners, in design-build, the builder and designers are hired under one contract. The designer/builder may use an in-house design team or hire an outside entity. The team works together throughout projects and construction begins before final design is complete, thus allowing completion in shorter time frame. The design and construction contracts are combined in one contract with a single point of responsibility.

“It puts the designer and construction on the same team,” said Quick on the design-build method. “It’s a better project in the sense of efficiency and quality … You get direct input in scope and quality of the project.”

Construction management at risk allows the owner to hire designers and contractor up front under separate contracts. The contractor typically guarantees a maximum price and works with the design team throughout the project to meet budget and intent. The design and construction contracts are separate in this method.

The final method, design-bid-build, was discussed more so at the previous facilities meeting. Most owners are familiar with this method and it is most widely used. Plans and specifications are completed then advertised for bids. Contractors bid the project exactly as it is designed. With this method, the design and construction are also different contracts with the owner.

Above all, Ripp advised, “make sure [you choose] someone you can trust and someone that will be your advocate as a district.”

The school board will discuss the matter more at their next meeting, Monday, May 11.

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