Construction manager is hired to oversee Green Forest School project

Friday, August 22, 2008

GREEN FOREST -- The school district hired a construction manager for the new middle school building.

During Monday night's school board meeting, the board interviewed representatives of four companies to serve as construction manager/general contractor (CMGC).

Superintendent Jeff Williams had urged the board to hire a CMGC company. Williams said a CMGC would save money compared to a standard general contractor, and this approach would be safer financially than having the school act as its own general contractor.

The CMGC has the advantage of working with the architect during the design process, and that can reduce total costs and speed up the project.

After the interviews, the board chose CDI Contractors, with headquarters in Johnson. Williams said CDI has extensive experience in construction of college facilities, and has been branching into the public school sector.

CDI's representatives demonstrated a familiarity with the building site and the entire campus. They also were favorably disposed toward using local subcontractors. "They went a step further than other companies in already knowing the names of local companies," Williams explained.

CDI also explained how they would use the safest delivery routes to bring material onto campus, and they were sensitive to the need to try to preserve the concrete slabs with the names of school alumni.

"That kind of detail really impresses decision makers," Williams said.

After the district signs a contract with CDI, Williams said he expects the company to begin working with the architects within the next few weeks. Williams said he hopes to have more detailed drawings of the building at the Sept. 15 board meeting.

The architects on the project showed one major design change during the meeting Monday night. Their original draft was a two-story building with a gabled entry in the middle of the structure, facing Phillips Avenue. The entry will likely be moved to the end of the building closer to the existing agri building, because otherwise the building would have needed three stairwells.

In other business Monday night, the board approved the hiring of Barry Hardin as part-time assistant high school principal and instructional facilitator. Hardin will replace Eric Miller, who resigned to take a position at Huntsville.

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