BV school board hires construction manager for HS project

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Berryville School District has another piece of the puzzle in place for its new high school.

At a special meeting Thursday, March 30, the Berryville School Board voted to hire Nabholz Construction as the construction manager for the new high school project. The board had previously voted at a special meeting on Feb. 23 to hire Lewis Architects Engineers of Little Rock to plan and design the construction of the project.

Superintendent Owen Powell said he and Dr. Paul Hines, facilities, maintenance and transportation director, did background checks on all of the construction companies, as they had previously done with the architecture firms. They called references for each company and narrowed the pool down to three applicants, he said.

On Thursday, the board heard presentations from three construction companies: Baldwin and Shell Construction Company, Kinco Constructors and Nabholz Construction. Each company addressed how they would approach the project, including building support for the millage campaign and managing the safety of students and staff during the construction.

Representatives from Baldwin and Shell focused on pre-construction, developing a successful millage campaign and ensuring student safety. Roger Short, Northwest Arkansas director of pre-construction, said Baldwin and Shell’s four key points for that phase of the project are real-time cost estimates, value analysis, budget and schedule management and phasing development.

“We will show you that you can pass the millage,” said Tori Pohlner, director of business development for the Northwest Division. “I have a background in fundraising, and we will focus on energizing the ‘yes’ voters in the campaign and convincing the ‘maybes.’”

Representatives of Kinco Constructors highlighted the company’s personal attention and service to its customers, large project experience and commitment to safety, noting there were no incidents in 2016. Clay Gordon, vice president of business development, said Berryville would not get lost in the shuffle with Kinco Constructors.

“We work on only 11 projects a year,” Gordon said. “We will have special events for the community as we work on both the millage campaign and the construction of the building itself.”

Representatives of Nabholz Construction emphasized the company’s focus on K-12 construction and experience building on active campuses. Greg Fogle, Midwest Operations president, said the company knows how to build K-12 schools and is well-versed in passing millage increases.

“We’re serious about student and faculty safety,” said Jason Vines, pre-construction manager. “We work around school traffic and avoid bringing in materials around pickup and drop off times. We will cater to your needs, including daily communication with administrators and the superintendent.”

After the presentations concluded, Steve Elliott, president of Lewis Architects Engineers, said any of the three construction companies would be excellent for the project.

“I’ve worked with all three in the past, and they have all done well,” Elliott said. “All three have a great bond rate. We could draw names out of a hat and be happy.”

The board discussed the three different companies, noting that each made some outstanding points during their presentations. Board member Chad Hipps said that Baldwin and Shell’s motivation for the millage campaign stood out to him. Board president David Waller said that he liked that Kinco Constructors was a smaller company.

“We will be their number one guy during the project,” he said.

Board member Chad Wilson said he was impressed by Nabholz Construction’s speciality in K-12 construction projects.

“They’re a well-oiled machine,” Wilson said.

“I liked their security and safety system,” said board member Kristi Howerton.

Waller noted that Nabholz had also brought up some important details about the millage campaign, such as managing the social media side of things in a way that insulates the district.

Hines said he believed that each company had something unique to offer. Baldwin and Shell would offer strong support for the district’s millage campaign, he said, while Kinco Constructors would give the district personal attention and bring sports complex construction experience with them.

“Nabholz is tried and true,” Hines said. “They history precedes them.”

The board voted unanimously to hire Nabholz Construction as the construction manager for the project.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, April 17, in the Intermediate Cafetorium.

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