Grundy Center starts K-12 project with speeches, gold shovels

Grundy Center CSD celebrated the start of its elementary and secondary school renovations and addition project with a May 3 groundbreaking ceremony. CANCO photo

7 months ago

Two-year construction project includes renovations, addition at middle school/high school and elementary school buildings in NE Iowa district.

GRUNDY CENTER, Iowa — Carl A. Nelson & Company joined school officials, other local leaders and supporters, and members of the design team members outside Grundy Center Middle School/High School on May 3, 2023, to ceremonially kick off a year-long construction project.

Renovations and an addition at the Grundy Center Community School District’s secondary and elementary schools are the result of a successful $12.99 million bond referendum in 2021 that will provide the bulk of the funding.

“First and foremost, we want to say thank you,” said Grundy Center Superintendent Robert Hughes. “Each and every one of you, at one point or another, has contributed to what we have achieved, and what we will further achieve as we move down the road.”

The project, Hughes said, is focused on four primary areas: safety and security; infrastructure; space constraints and classroom modernization. Work at the secondary building will include new windows, roof and HVAC system.

Carl A. Nelson & Company Project Manager Nick Liston, a lifelong resident of Grundy Center and graduate of Grundy Center High School, addresses guests at a May 3, 2023, groundbreaking ceremony outside the high school to commemorate the start of improvements there and at the elementary school that will be completed in 2024. CANCO photo

“We are going to do everything we can to make sure our kids have the best environment possible,” Hughes said.

Speakers at the ceremony included Carl A. Nelson & Company (CANCO) Project Manager Nick Liston, a Grundy Center native and Grundy Center High School graduate. Liston, who works in CANCO’s Cedar Falls office, expressed the company’s pride in having the opportunity to serve the district in the role of construction manager on the project for pre-construction and construction.

“It has truly been a pleasure working with this team through the pre-construction phase,” said Liston, referencing Hughes, other administrators, school board members, district staff and representatives of ISG, who displayed a “remarkable passion and vision for this facility.”

Work at the secondary building is underway and includes a secure entry and administration addition; west wing HVAC replacement, restroom and life skills classroom renovations, new siding, new windows and roof replacement completed in two phases, west then east; and IMC and guidance renovations. At the elementary building, renovation work kicks off in the summer of 2024 and includes renovation and conversion of an underused locker room space and restroom renovations; and renovations to create a secure building entry and to renovation special needs spaces.

The entire project is scheduled for completion by the start of school at the end of summer in 2024.

“Let’s all keep our fingers crossed for improvements in equipment manufacturing lead times and ideal weather conditions,” Liston said.

While the project will be led by CANCO’s project and field leadership team, the actual construction will be performed by a group of prime contractors who bid successfully on portions of the project. Local contractors — those located within 40 miles of Grundy Center — represent 73% of total construction cost on the project, Liston said. The $12.4 million project includes $10.6 million of construction cost.

Citing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on project planning and design, Art Baumgartner, architect and project manager for ISG, credited the CANCO team for “shepherding the project through the most volatile bidding environment I have seen in my career.”

Members of the construction and design team from Carl A. Nelson & Company and ISG join local dignitaries and school district officials for a May 3 groundbreaking ceremony outside Grundy Center Middle School/High School in Grundy Center, Iowa. CANCO photo

Grundy Center Community School District Superintendent Robert Hughes gestures toward the site of construction at Grundy Center Middle School/High School during remarks at a May 3, 2023, groundbreaking ceremony. The secondary school building will be the location of the most signifcant construction activity, while the elementary school also will get a facelift. CANCO photo

Construction and design team members join with Grundy Center Community School District Superintendent Robert Hughes, second from right, to help break ground on the district's K-12 improvement project, where Carl A. Nelson & Company (CANCO) is construction manager agent. From left are Chris Smith, CANCO vice president, operations (Burlington), and project executive; architect and project manager from ISG, Art Baumgartner; CANCO Project Engineer Steven Baridon and Project Superintendent Chad Sawyer; Hughes; and CANCO Project Manager Nick Liston. CANCO photo

Project signage posted at the schools in Grundy Center shows the areas of construction and phasing of the secondary and elementary building projects. via ISG