D209 Board Hires Contract Manager For $77M Construction Work

Monday, July 15, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

During a special meeting on June 18, the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Chicago-based Gilbane Building Company as construction manager to oversee the first phase of construction projects in the district’s facilities master plan. Board member Sam Valtierrez was absent.

Gilbane was among 10 firms that submitted bids. District officials picked five of those firms to present during a facilities committee meeting in April before narrowing the search to three finalists. The board ranked Gilbane the highest among the three finalists.

During their April 30 presentation, Gilbane expressed the “importance of diversity and inclusion” and highlighted their idea of ‘hire Proviso,’ which would assist in engaging the local community to be included in the project, according to the minutes of that meeting.

The firm’s contract runs through 2023 and entails a preconstruction fee of $117,000. During the preconstruction phase, Gilbane will evaluate the district’s master plan, and come up with a more precise construction schedule and more precise cost estimates.

So far, district officials estimate that the preconstruction phase could run until December 2021. Construction work could last from June 2020 through August 2023. But that timeline is subject to change depending on what Gilbane discovers during its preconstruction vetting process.

The district will pay Gilbane $2.7 million in staffing costs and a $1.2 million professional fee, which reflects 1.9 percent of an estimated $64 million that the district has on hand to fund construction costs. The district will also set aside $555,000 for general liability insurance. The total contract cost amounts to around $4.7 million.

As previously reported, the range of capital improvements in the master plan runs the gamut, from life-safety maintenance projects, electrical upgrades and air-conditioning installation to classroom and lab upgrades and repositioning athletic fields. They’re projected to cost around $77 million. The district is expected to secure the remaining $13 million needed to cover the total estimated cost of first phase construction projects within the next few years.

Supt. Jesse Rodriguez pointed out that the district opted to hire a construction manager, as opposed to a general contractor, because hiring a manager gives the district more ownership and control over the construction process.

“This is a good for Proviso,” Rodriguez said. “Broadview and Leyden experienced success with a construction manager. Doing it this way ensures transparency and provides checks and balances.”

Amanda Grant, the D209 board member who chairs the Finance and Facilities Committee, applauded the vote.

“The Finance and Facilities Committee is driven by a commitment to excellence for the present and future students of District 209,” she explained in a statement. “We selected a design team and associated professionals who will partner with us to make the vision of the Facilities Master Plan a reality.”

In January, the D209 board voted to go forward with construction projects in the facilities master plan.

The district’s Financial Oversight Panel approved the contract with Gilbane last month. VFP

Contact: thevillagefreepress@gmail.com | Facebook: @maywoodnews 

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