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

The master planning and construction management expertise of Carl A. Nelson & Comapny empowers K-12 schools to prioritize objectives, optimize resources, and deliver high-quality facilities on schedule and on-budget. With transparent communication and collaboration, we ensure stakeholders' involvement and informed decision-making. Trust our proven track record in creating functional spaces that enhance learning experiences. Contact us to discuss how we can support your school's construction needs.

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, from needs assessment and master planning through pre-construction, construction and project closeout.

Carl A. Nelson & Company has a proven track record as a school building contractor 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.

Our Education Project Portfolio

We provide construction management agency 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. Visit the Services section of the website to find out about what Carl A. Nelson & Company can do for your school district during needs assessment and master planning

<b>Dan Culp, Vice President of Operations (Burlington)</b>
Dan Culp, Vice President of Operations (Burlington)

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

In addition to the completed 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

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 of the new Prairie Creek Intermediate School began in May 2021, with completion anticipated in the summer of 2023.

Ground broken on new College CSD school building

Additional projects awarded by College CSD

Our performance for the College Community School District has earned CANCO two additional opportunities with the district:

  • During the pre-construction phase of the replacement Prairie Creek Intermediate School building, district officials invited our team to negotiate a construction management agency contract for the renovation of the existing Prairie Creek building for use as a ninth-grade attendance center and home for the district's alternative school program. The $19.5 million renovation project is scheduled to begin construction in the summer of 2023, and conclude in the summer of 2025.
  • Late in 2021, the school district engaged Carl A. Nelson & Company in a construction management agency contract in the role of Owner's Agent to get a previously underway but struggling renovation project at Prairie Crest Elementary School back on track. The project, undertaken as design-bid-build, had become bogged down and district officials asked the CANCO team to bring it back on track for a scheduled summer 2022 completion. 
Praise for our pre-construction services

“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.”

— Dr. Douglas Wheeler,
College CSD Superintendent

Burlington CSD

Work got underway in April 2022 on a $43 million construction project at Burlington High School in Burlington, Iowa, with Carl A. Nelson & Company in the lead as Construction Manager Agent

The initial undertaking involved asbestos abatement while the 53-year-old school was closed for spring break. Beginning in 2023, the bulk of the project will begin in earnest with upgrades to mechanical and other systems — most of which have not been touched since they were installed between 1966 when construction of the school began until it opened in 1969. 

Additional improvements include significant renovation of the school's classroom wing; relocation of the offices near the cafeteria and creation of a secure entry adjacent to the courtyard and student parking lot; enclosing an exterior connection to the Industrial Arts building; and the addition of a weight room near the gym. Construction is expected to be completed in 2024.

The project is being funded using a combination of the Burlington Community School District's share of Iowa SAVE program dollars for school infrastructure, and federal ESSER program dollars to support air quality improvements in school buildings. 

A master planning process initiated after CANCO was awarded a CMa contract in 2021 identified more than $90 million in facility improvements, including additions for an auditorium and second gym. With funding limited to less than half that amount, the Burlington School Board opted to focus on improving mechanical and technical systems, classroom layout, lighting and technology, accessibility and other necessities. 

CANCO was selected unanimously to lead the work at BHS following a qualifications-based selection process, with a contract that included assisting with architect selection.

The remodeling phase of the academic wing and other areas of Burlington High School, which began in the spring of 2023, will occur in seven phases and be complete in the summer of 2025. View the phasing plan in this video on our YouTube channel.

Work on the project was featured in the fall 2022 edition of our wibi newsletter. Read the e-edition.

Washington CSD

Aerial footage published by the Washington Community School District shows early progress on site preparation for additions at the high school building.

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 replace a century-old building and to provide the district and its students with much improved middle school facilities.

The project, as well as a pair of HVAC upgrade and geothermal installation projects, resulted from a needs assessment and master planning process led by CANCO, as well as pre-bond planning efforts supported by our project team. 

The middle school marks our firm's 11th CMa project for the Washington schools since 2010.

Fort Madison CSD

Renderings by DLR Group architects show front entrances planned in the Grades 7-12 remodeling and expansion of Fort Madison High School (left), and the Pre-K-6 remodeling and expansion of Fort Madison Middle School (right).

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 $33 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 is underway at each building, with completion anticipated in the spring of 2024.

Carl A. Nelson & Company Vice President of Operations (Burlington) Chris Smith, project executive for Fort Madison Community School District's project, speaks during a July 12, 2022, groundbreaking ceremony. (CANCO photo)

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 music wing addition and secure entry renovation at Keokuk High School, as well as mechanical system upgrades at Hawthorne Elementary School. Read about the success of both the master planning and the construction in the Spring 2023 issue of our wibi newsletter for educational clients.

Van Buren CSD

Image courtesy SVPA Architects

Image courtesy SVPA Architects

Carl A. Nelson & Company was selected on a qualifications basis by the Van Buren County Community School District to serve as construction manager for its new activities center.

The 21,500 SF, $6 million facility is being built as an addition to the middle/high school building in Keosauqua, Iowa. The addition will include a secondary gym, wrestling practice room, mezzanine with batting cages, two general classrooms and new restrooms.

Completion is anticipated in July 2023.

Grundy Center CSD

Carl A. Nelson & Company was selected on a qualifications basis in a competitive selection process to serve as construction manager as agent for the Grundy Center Community School District for improvements at its elementary and junior/senior high school buildings. The project, to be funded by proceeds of a $12.99 million bond referendum approved in November 2021, includes an estimated $10 million construction budget, with scope to include a secondary building addition and elementary school renovations. Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2022.

Clients attest to our Construction Management services, successes

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 recent CANCO CMa projects:

Sioux Center CSD

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.

Danville CSD

In this video, Dr. Thomas Ward, then 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.

Shenandoah CSD

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.

Our Education Brochure

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

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

Project Portfolio