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Contracting for New School Construction

District elects to use construction manager/general contractor process

The Eugene School District will soon be delving into several different large construction projects, including the replacement of three aging school buildings, thanks to the $319.3 million bond measure that voters approved in November 2018.

Due to the area’s current competitive construction market, the district is changing the way it will contract with local companies to complete such projects. The alternate contracting method was approved by the Eugene School Board in March.

4J has historically used a design-bid-build construction strategy, meaning that the district would work with architects to design the new school, and then issue a request for proposals (RFP) from general contractors to complete the build. The lowest responsible bidder would receive the contract.

Now, the district will utilize an alternative strategy of selecting a construction manager/general contractor (CM/GC), which will still be selected through a competitive RFP process, but will be decided much earlier in the project timeline.

The CM/GC strategy issues an RFP at the beginning of the design process so that the general contractor can work with the architects and the district to analyze building systems, provide cost estimates, develop unique construction schedules, and help to plan for the anticipated months of construction.

The alternate contracting method allows for the district to secure a general contractor earlier, to help ensure that the construction project will be completed in a reasonable amount of time.

Proposals from CM/GC firms will include a competitive bid for their fee based on the known general conditions for the project, as well as a detailed description of the project, contract terms and conditions and other specific criteria established by the district.

The CM/GC that is selected will also provide a guaranteed maximum price to complete the project. Subcontractors for the project will be selected through a publicly advertised, competitive solicitation process.

This alternative contracting process may be used on projects that:

  • Exceed $5 million in estimated construction costs.
  • Require new construction, additions, and/or renovations.
  • Require unique logistical planning and coordination during design and construction to address the complexities of an active construction site with an active school campus, surrounding neighborhood and/or adjacent business activities.

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