CANCO chosen to lead Burlington High School project

CANCO chosen to lead Burlington High School project

3 months, 3 weeks ago

The Burlington Community School District Board of Education voted June 17 to award a construction management agency contract to Carl A. Nelson & Company to lead a $35 million project to refresh a Burlington High School building that has been little touched since it opened to students in 1969.

The unanimous 6-0 vote to select CANCO was made at the conclusion of an afternoon that featured interviews with each of the three firms being considered, and a work session where School Board members discussed the merits of each.

CANCO has been based in Burlington since its founding in 1913, and Board members keyed in on the benefits of hiring a capable local firm.

"To me, I think it seems like we should go local," Board member Deborah Hatteberg said. "I think they provide good quality. I think they're in the community, and I just think that makes a difference how you present yourself. They have a vested interest."

"I am a huge proponent of local, but there has to be more reason than that, and I think they present that reason," Board member Darven Kendell said in advocating for CANCO. "They seem to be very competent. They gave great examples, I think. They are our neighbors. You see them in the stores, and that just has some value."

"I believe in Carl Nelson, and I'd like to stay local," Kendell added "Beyond being local, they can back up what they're saying they're going to do, and they're going to be with us."

Members of the district's administrative team addressed factors differentiating Carl A. Nelson & Company from its competition beyond locality.

Superintendent Pat Coen told the board he checked CANCO's references, and learned the firm delivers on the services it described during the presentation. He cited conversations with superintendents from other Iowa school districts who confirmed a $500,000 value engineering savings on a project, and another who said CANCO's construction management fee was paid back with cost-saving opportunities found during pre-construction.

"The past history I've had with Carl A. has been very good," Brent Krieger, BCSD's facilities director, told board members. Krieger cited on-time completion of projects where he has worked previously with CANCO, as well as committed leadership from the firm's project team.

The planned project Carl A. Nelson & Company will lead for the Burlington schools includes planning, design and construction of facility upgrades, renovations and possible additions at Burlington High School. The total project budget of $35 million will come from Iowa's sales tax-funded Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) bonds.

With the contract awarded, CANCO's first step as construction manager will be to help the district select an architectural firm. Before construction can begin, CANCO and the architect will complete a process to determine the scope of the project based on district priorities that will determine the design.