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Hall chooses a construction management firm

SPRING VALLEY – Several Hall graduates are going to be part of the project that will provide a new high school for many generations of area children.

At a special meeting Wednesday, the board unanimously agreed to hire Leopardo Construction Co. for its $32 million new school facility. Board member Mike Morris was absent.

Leopardo president Rick Mattioda is a Spring Valley native. On May 22, when he and several other companies made presentations to the board, Mattioda said it was good to come back to his hometown, and he hoped the board would award his company the contract.

“My dad still lives three blocks from here,” he said. “It would be the most inspiring experience I’ve ever had in my 36-year career.”

Other Spring Valley natives who will work on the project are Tony Orlandi and Jason Samolinski, who will be on-site every day monitoring the project.

In all the board heard from seven companies before choosing Leopardo, which was the recommendation of Superintendent Mike Struna. Struna said he based his recommendation on the company’s extensive preconstruction services, an experienced team during construction, and its history of providing construction management services since its founding in 1979.

The local connection was also a factor.

“I believe that with Leopardo, we are hiring a recognized leader in construction that will provide a full range of services,” Struna said in his recommendation. “But also, we are hiring a team who understands our community and our values and, more importantly, a team who will be personally invested in our project. The construction of Hall High School will not be just another job for Leopardo.”

The board members had met June 5 to make the hiring decision, but they were delayed when there was a $1.2 million gap between the highest and lowest bids.

The companies were then asked to complete a simpler form with an easily comparable breakdown of costs, and Struna said the seven bids then all came close to the budgeted figure of $2.1 million.

The board approved a motion to hire Leopardo Construction Co. as construction manager for the new school project and direct the high school district’s attorney to negotiate the details and prepare a contract for approval by the board at a later date.

If for some reason the attorney and the company can’t come to an agreement, Struna said the board would choose a second firm and repeat the process.

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