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How to build a high school

SPRING VALLEY – In April, voters approved a $32 million referendum to build a new Hall High School just north of the current facility.

Now comes the hard work for the school board.

One of the first decisions the board has to make is whether to hire a construction management firm to supervise the project, or to go with a general contractor, who would be chosen by the bidding process.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the board heard more than three and one-half hours of presentations from six management companies who had several things in common. All of them were located closer than the Minneapolis-based Kraus-Anderson Construction Co., which made a presentation at the May 7 meeting as the preference of the project’s architect, Healy, Bender & Associates of Naperville.

The companies stressed their commitment to put as many local people to work on the project as possible, and a few companies even touted their close personal ties to the school and the community.

Pete Mangieri from Mangieri Companies of Peoria said Mangieri does the most work of any company within a two-hour radius of Peoria. He said the company has done work totaling $137 million, and they have 15 more projects under contract.

Mangieri said a construction manager is not an extra layer but rather replaces the general contractor. He said a construction manager will give a proposed cost for the project, and then hold to it.

Andy Mrowicki of HR Green in Yorkville said he, Matt Jereb and Eric Carls were all from the Illinois Valley, and they looked forward to working alongside “friends and family.”

The company offers construction administration instead of construction management, and Mrowicki said some of the benefits included independent oversight of the project and the lowest risk to the district.

Nick Papanicholas Jr. of Nicholas and Associates in Mount Prospect said 90 percent of the company’s annual sales were in the construction of K-12 Illinois schools.

Papanicholas discussed the two construction manager options, saying the construction manager at risk required his company to provide the bond, which made it easier for smaller subcontractors to bid on the project.

Several previous residents were part of the group presenting for Leopardo Companies of Hoffman Estates. President Rick Mattioda said it was good to come back to his hometown.

Mattioda said Hall graduates Tony Orlandi and Jason Samolinski would be on-site every day monitoring the project.

Derek Ward of Gilbane Building Co. of Chicago said his company is the largest construction management company for K-12 education in the country.

Ward said the company often builds next to existing buildings and has strategies and procedures to deal with the issues.

The final presenter was David Binkley of George Sollitt Construction Co. in suburban Wood Dale. The company is currently working on the new technology center at IVCC, and Binkley said they have strong ties with the local contracting community and labor.

Binkley said he would like to continue with the IVCC project team on the Hall project to maintain continuity.

The board will meet at 5:15 p.m. June 5 to make a final decision regarding a construction manager.

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