New 9-12 High School Early Childhood Center K-12 Additions/Remodeling K-12 Additions/Remodeling Middle/High School Addition/Renovation High School Renovations High School Addition/Renovation High School Addition/Renovation K-12/Admin Additions/Renovations High School Performing Arts Center New 9-12 High School Early Childhood Center K-12 Additions/Remodeling K-12 Additions/Remodeling Middle/High School Addition/Renovation High School Renovations High School Addition/Renovation High School Addition/Renovation K-12/Admin Additions/Renovations High School Performing Arts Center

Education Construction Management & School Facilities Assessment

Your role as educators is to prepare young people in your community for the future. At Carl A. Nelson & Company, our role as your construction manager is to support that mission by delivering educational facilities that offer the best 21st-Century learning environment for students.

Chris Smith, Vice President of Operations
Chris Smith, Vice President / Education Project Executive

There are many challenges while striving to provide for the ever-changing needs of your student body. We know that developments in technology, budget and funding issues, aging school buildings, and obtaining community support through bond referendums are all concerns that affect the decisions you must make when considering a new school, building addition, or renovation.

Working as a construction management agency, we are your advocate.

And Carl A. Nelson & Company has a proven track record of working in collaboration with owners and architects to meet aggressive schedules and satisfy spatial requirements while being stewards of your resources and goals. We guide our clients to make the best decisions during the pre-construction phase by providing value engineering and experience-driven recommendations for the major systems of your building to preserve money and time.

We work hard to encourage strong participation from local contractors and suppliers in communities where we work to support your local economy, and also to increase the pool of bidders in an effort to ensure the best-possible results on bid day. On our construction management projects for Iowa school districts, our average variance between budget estimate and actual bid is 2.2% below budget.

In addition to our construction management experience, CANCO also has a long history of delivering quality school projects to communities through the competitive bid process in the general contractor role.

We have the experience to guide the efforts of the contractors, and influence the work of designers and engineers, to get you the best return on your community's investment in school infrastructure.

Discover the Top 5 Reasons to choose Construction Management delivery for your future construction projects

Click here to learn more.

• What is Construction Management Agency delivery? Click here to learn more.

Our Education Project Portfolio

We provide construction management agency and general contracting services for K-12 school districts, and have built new elementary schools, intermediate schools, middle schools and high schools, performed school remodeling and built school additions, as well as building early childhood centers and performing arts centers.

Explore our Project Portfolio on this page to see examples of some of the work we have done for K-12 construction management clients in Iowa.

Our Education Brochure

<b>Click the cover image to open the e-brochure.</b>
Click the cover image to open the e-brochure.

Carl A. Nelson & Company publishes brochures in several market segments where we work, including one highlighting Educational construction management projects. 

K-12 construction management projects underway or in pre-construction

In addition to the featured projects that appear in our portfolio, Carl A. Nelson & Company is now at work in other locations in Iowa in the role of construction management agency.

College Community School District — Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Ground broken on new College CSD school building

The Board of Education of the College CSD, which serves rural communities and suburbs south of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, selected Carl A. Nelson & Company as its construction manager for a new, $42.5 million and 189,500 SF intermediate school for students in grades five and six. Construction began in May 2021, with completion anticipated in the summer of 2023.

As a result of its performance on pre-construction for the new intermediate school, Carl A. Nelson & Company was selected by College CSD for a second construction management contract — one for a $19.5 million renovation of Prairie Creek Intermediate School that will convert the building for use as a ninth-grade and alternative school attendance center. That project is in pre-construction, with completion projected in 2025.

“CANCO's involvement in the pre-construction process was invaluable to ensure we delivered on the vision of our intermediate school. Their knowledge of how design translates to the jobsite and the budget greatly assisted in value-engineering a building that maximizes opportunities for students while coming in at budget. Often in the design process, reductions are made that directly impact the student experience. In the process of designing our intermediate building, we were able to meet our budget with items that students and the public would not notice, but greatly impacted the budget. I have no doubt that we are getting a better building because of CANCO's involvement. They maintain a close relationship with us and our architects to ensure we deliver on our vision for our new Intermediate building.”

— College CSD Superintendent Dr. Douglas Wheeler

Burlington CSD

A construction management agency contract was awarded to Carl A. Nelson & Company by the Burlington Community School District to lead a $35 million renovation of Burlington High School.

The building has seen minimal updates since it opened to students in 1969, and features many original systems.

The contract was awarded unanimously by the Burlington School Board in June 2021. The contract includes assisting with architect selection and conducting a process to determine project scope.

An additional project was later awarded by invest $9 million in federal COVID funds to improve HVAC systems in the building.

Washington CSD

Following successful passage of a $25 million general obligation bond referendum by the Washington Community School District, Carl A. Nelson & Company is in pre-construction on a project to remodel and expand a century-old building to provide the district and its students with much improved middle school facilities.

The project resulted from a needs assessment and master planning process led by CANCO, as well as pre-bond planning efforts supported by our project team.

Fort Madison CSD

Carl A. Nelson & Company was awarded a construction management contract in April 2021 to lead a project for the Fort Madison Community School District that will remake educational delivery in the southeast Iowa community.

The estimated $25 million project includes additions and renovations to consolidate secondary school programs in the existing high school, and to consolidate elementary school programs in the current middle school building.

The project currently is in schematic design, with construction expected to begin in 2022, and be complete in 2023.

Keokuk CSD

A successful needs assessment and master planning process led by Carl A. Nelson & Company for the Keokuk Community School District resulted in a construction management contract for a high school performing arts facility, as well as mechanical system upgrades at Hawthorne Elementary School.

Construction of the performing arts project will begin in 2021, with completion during the summer of 2023. Work at Hawthorne Elementary, which is in schematic design, is planned to get underway in 2022.

Clients attest to our Construction Management services, successes

As the Sioux Center Community School District prepared to open its brand new, $42 million, 180,000 square-foot high school building, Superintendent Gary McEldowney had only good things to say about Carl A. Nelson & Company and the value the firm brought to the project in its role as construction manager.

The superintendent also offered a complimentary critique of the Carl A. Nelson & Company construction management project team. You can watch that video here.

In this video, Dr. Thomas Ward, the superintendent for the Danville CSD in Danville, Iowa, speaks about the district's $8.7 million, K-12 addition and remodeling project, and the value achieved by using Carl A. Nelson & Company as construction management agency. 

To learn more about the project, see this story in the news section of our website.

In this brief testimonial video, Shenandoah Community School District Superintendent Dr. Kerri Nelson discusses the benefits of engaging Carl A. Nelson & Company as construction manager on a project that resulted in a multi-million dollar renovation of Shenandoah High School. Visit our YouTube channel for the full-length video, which also addresses project history and our project team. 

Read more about the project, and see a collection of before-and-after photos, in CANCO News.

On school construction projects where Carl A. Nelson & Company has been engaged in the role of construction management agency, school officials continue to praise our performance. Here are a trio of testimonials from other past and ongoing projects:

"One of the best elements CANCO brought to the table was the value engineering ... to make sure that we were going to be at budget, and hopefully come in even underneath what the budget might be." 

— Gary McEldowney, superintendent,
Sioux Center, Iowa, CSD

via KSOU 93.9 FM

"... it is without hesitation to recommend Carl A. Nelson & Company as a construction management firm for a school district project."

— Fred McElwee, former director of auxiliary services,
Fairfield, Iowa, CSD

"Their unique perspective has added value to our projects and allowed the district to get 'more bang for its bucks'."

— Mark Schneider, superintendent,
Mid-Prairie CSD, Iowa

Needs Assessment, Master Planning and Pre-Bond Services

In addition to providing construction management services, Carl A. Nelson & Company also is able to act in a consultant role and bring its experience leading successful facility needs assessment and master planning processes to your school system and community.

As construction manager agent, we are available to take part in pre-bond planning and participate in public forums to educate your community about the project plan prior to the date of your referendum. Districts where CANCO has had a consulting role in leading needs assessment and master planning efforts, or taken part in pre-bond services, include:

Fort Madison Community School District — Fort Madison, Iowa

Keokuk Community School District — Keokuk, Iowa

Washington Community School District — Washington, Iowa

Fairfield Community School District — Fairfield, Iowa

Danville Community School District — Danville, Iowa

Mid-Prairie Community School District — Kalona, Iowa

• Mount Pleasant Community School District — Mount Pleasant, Iowa

Shenandoah Community School District — Shenandoah, Iowa

IKM-Manning Community School District — Manning, Iowa

Carl A. Nelson & Company was construction manager for the Fairfield School District on the renovation and expansion of Fairfield High School. The project was the result of a master planning process also led by CANCO.

Related Services and Additional Information

Nelson Design, Inc.

On construction management agency projects, Carl A. Nelson & Company's design-assist capability relies on the experience of our project managers, engineers and field personnel to ensure the best-possible quality, cost and schedule. And those efforts are backed up by the design professionals of Nelson Design, Inc., who will assist in review of the plans and specifications prepared by your architectural and engineering partners.

Carl A. Nelson & Company is a proud sponsor of Rural School Advocates of Iowa.

Project Portfolio