Decatur ISD seeks CM at-risk

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, February 21, 2018
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Language Lesson

LANGUAGE LESSON – Rann Elementary first grader Nayeli Gonzalez reads a story in English to Decatur ISD trustee Marsha Hafer during Monday’s meeting. Members of the school’s bilingual program showcased their talent for the board at the meeting. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

Decatur ISD is searching for a construction manager at-risk to oversee upcoming additions and renovations at Decatur High School.

The district will begin advertising this week for candidates to submit qualifications by 2 p.m. March 5. It will select a short list of candidates March 6 and interview finalists March 19. The school board plans to select a construction manager at-risk at its meeting March 26.

Trustees opted to hire a construction manager at-risk instead of a general contractor at their meeting Monday.

“In my time on the board, most of any of the large projects we’ve done have always been with a construction manager at-risk,” said trustee Kevin Haney. “We end up with guaranteed maximum price contract, so the contractor takes the risk of any overages. There will be some incentives in there. If it comes in under budget, there will be some savings to us, plus some rewards to the contractor. It’s the most typical and probably the best way to do major contracts.”

Superintendent Judi Whitis added: “They get involved early on in the process. They work with the architect. They partner with you in every phase and every step.”

Last month the board authorized the superintendent to engage architects to draw plans and get cost estimates for a classroom addition, coffee shop and athletic facility improvements – a weight room, media room and locker room renovations. The district has nearly $7.6 million in its reserves earmarked for construction projects throughout the district and $5 million allotted for the high school work. The money is not from past bond projects, but from general fund reserves.

Whitis said the possible projects have not been revisited since the January meeting.

“The CM at-risk will be instrumental in helping us drive that ship,” Whitis said.

The district budgeted $774,000 for local construction projects this year – restrooms at the Decatur High School gym, Rann Elementary cooling tower, parking lot striping, stadium sound system and elevator, support services training room, technology building improvements, replacing six campus marquees, cell booster at Young Elementary and Decatur High School theater improvements.

In other business, Deputy Superintendent Cindy Tatum gave an update on the district’s enrollment and the impact on revenue.

The district’s first semester refined average daily attendance was 3,191.9, which was 66 more than the district budgeted for. The enrollment is up 123 students throughout the district.

Tatum said with the increased enrollment, interest earnings and hardship grant from the state, revenue is up $1.6 million from what was budgeted.

Partners in Education

PARTNERS IN EDUCATION – Decatur ISD honored the Wise County Messenger as its Business Partner for February. Decatur ISD Superintendent Judi Whitis is joined by Messenger Assistant Publisher Kristen Tribe and Publisher Roy Eaton. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

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