Pre-con lays foundation for childcare expansion in SE Iowa city

Pre-con lays foundation for childcare expansion in SE Iowa city Crews poured footings as foundation work continued April 15, 2022, on the site of the Cambridge Little Achievers Center, a new daycare center in Fairfield, Iowa. Carl A. Nelson & Company is construction manager at-risk on the project, which is slated for completion this fall. (CANCO photo)

3 weeks, 4 days ago

FAIRFIELD, Iowa — Foundations were being poured April 15, 2022, at a new facility being constructed by Carl A. Nelson & Company (CANCO) that will increase availability of quality childcare for working families in this southeast Iowa city. Ground was broken on the Cambridge Little Achievers Center in a March 2022 ceremony featuring local organizers, supporters and state government officials. 

With CANCO in the role of Construction Manager at-Risk, construction is slated for completion in the fall of 2022. An early 2023 opening is anticipated. The approximately 14,000 SF facility, owned by Jefferson County Kids, Inc., and located west of Jefferson County Health Center, will serve 143 children from newborns to age 4, plus 45 more ages 5 through 12 in an after-school program.

Financing for the $4.1 million project included local investment, as well as $600,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding from the state of Iowa.

"CANCO's experience, commitment to the customer, and value became apparent quickly."

— Cambridge Little Achievers Center Board of Directors

"Access to quality child care is critical to the economic well-being of the state," Debi Durham, executive director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, said during the groundbreaking. "The new center ... provides a solution to our child care shortage and exemplifies how successful public-private partnerships are vital to economic development efforts."

The project also demonstrated the benefit of construction management, as involvement by CANCO's team enabled the project to move forward after COVID-related price increases for building materials pushed an initial bid issuance beyond the Owner's available budget. Carl A. Nelson & Company was brought onto the project as CM at-Risk and proposed a multi-step plan to prepare for a reissuance of bids. Work included reviewing budget overruns, ensuring all costs were accounted for, applying value engineering to the original design, revising the design, reviewing grant requirements, evaluating technology systems, assisting with kitchen and playground design and more. 

Through that pre-construction process, the Owner was able to achieve design, budget and schedule modifications that resulted in a new set of bids that came in within budget. 

"We are grateful for Carl A. Nelson Company," the Cambridge Little Achievers Center Board of Directors said in a statement issued as preliminary site work neared completion. "We asked them to partner with us on our project at a later time in the planning process and they helped us navigate complex industry regulations and multiple construction grants, and brought us to a successful groundbreaking.

"CANCO's experience, commitment to the customer, and value became apparent quickly."

Iowa Economic Development Authority Executive Director Debi Durham speaks March 15, 2022, during a groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction of the new Cambridge Little Achievers Center, a 14,000 SF childcare center in Fairfield, Iowa. (CANCO photo)

Prospective future users of the Cambridge Little Achievers Center play during the groundbreaking ceremony March 15, 2022, at the site in Fairfield, Iowa. (CANCO photo)