Streetsboro schools' project picks manager

By mike lesko | Gateway News Published:

Hammond Construction of Canton, which has worked on school construction projects since the mid-1990s and stresses communication with school leaders, was selected as construction manager at risk for the Streetsboro schools construction project.

Hammond was picked from a short list of three construction manager at risk candidates, including the Ruhlin Co. of Sharon Center and Panzica Construction Co. of Cleveland.

The board of education agreed to a construction manager at risk format in November. In it, the board hires a construction manager firm, based on its qualifications to serve as a general contractor, and then negotiates a price rather than being forced to accept the lowest bidder on the project. "We pride ourselves in having managed a large volume of school (construction) business," Hammond President Bill Sherman told school leaders at the May 8 Streetsboro Board of Education meeting. "Having said that, no two school districts are identical. In the last 15 years, we have managed more than $1.5 billion worth of school construction (projects). We will harness all that experience and cater it and customize it to your specific needs and projects."

Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh said a project timeline should be announced at the June 12 board meeting.

Kirk George, Hammond project manager for the construction of a new high school, said a high school "is supposed to be the flagship of the district."

"With all the experience we've had in the school market, we know communication can make or break a project, and how very vital it is to the district to have proper communication," George said. "We see this project as having three levels of communication -- at the project, district and community levels.

At the project level, George said, "That's when the people that are involved in the everyday details of the project gather on a regular basis and all the detail gets discussed."

He said the district level would include formats like board meetings, "where we would provide you with status reports, the initial master schedule and the updates as we move forward into the project."

Sherman addressed the community level, saying, "We want to be completely transparent. That's what we're accustomed to. In addition to that, we think there are great potential venues to keep the community engaged throughout the process. We're happy to participate in any of those venues -- anything from groundbreaking ceremonies to beam signings to getting some of the students involved through potential activities like career days, mentoring and shadowing."

A new high school and stadium are planned on S.R. 14 across from Deer Meadow Boulevard. At the S.R. 303 school campus, the existing high school will be heavily renovated to accommodate grades six through eight, and an addition will be built at Campus Elementary School, following the approval of a bond issue in November. The current middle school and Wait Primary School will eventually be closed. Henry Defer Intermediate School would not be renovated, but would only serve fourth- and fifth-graders, according to the district's plan.

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

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