Elementary Construction Updates PlannedPosted by Ed Petersen - Public Relations Coordinator at 10/19/2017
Administrators, projects managers, and architects will present an update on the progress of designing, planning, and constructing two new voter-approved elementary schools in Centralia in November. During the two scheduled meetings, community members will be able to preview proposed floorplans, site plans, and classroom layouts.
The first meeting is scheduled for November 7th at 6 p.m. at Fords Prairie Elementary school. Another is planned for November 9th at 6 p.m. at Jefferson Lincoln Elementary. The two schools are to be replaced by brand new facilities as part of the $74 million bond approved by Centralia voters in February 2017.
“We won’t have full color renderings, or video fly-through tours just yet,” said Superintendent Mark Davalos. “But right away our community members will be able to see that we are upholding our promise to construct schools with dedicated gymnasiums, modern classrooms, and spaces designed to enhance our ability to provide world-class STEM instruction.”
Community members in attendance will have an opportunity to provide feedback to the district on the information presented at each meeting. In addition, the materials will be shared online at www.CentraliaSchools.org, where the community will also have a chance to share thoughts and opinions.
“These are exciting times. We aren’t taking the support of our community for granted as we plan these two new schools and a fully modernized Centralia High School,” Davalos said. “We made promises during the bond campaign and we have every intention of honoring them. I think our patrons will be very proud of the work so far, and of these fantastic facilities when they’re completed.”
Meetings will be planned at a later time to update progress on the remodel of Centralia High School. The District hopes to break ground on the two elementary schools in the spring of 2018. Construction at CHS would begin by winter of 2018. The two elementary schools are projected to be completed in time for the start of the 2019 school year, with CHS expecting occupancy in 2020.
Forma Selected as General Contractor/Construction ManagerPosted by Ed Petersen, PR & Communications Coordinator at 9/21/2017
The Centralia School District Board of Directors unanimously approved the Superintendent’s recommendation to hire Forma Construction as the general contractor and construction manager (GC/CM) for the District’s upcoming school construction projects. The vote was cast during their regular monthly meeting on September 20th. Forma will oversee construction for both the remodeling of Centralia High School and the construction of two brand-new elementary schools replacing the Fords Prairie and Jefferson Lincoln schools.
The District has elected a somewhat non-conventional model in hiring a general contractor/construction manager at this point in the process. “In a traditional model, owners would have a fully designed project before hiring a contractor,” said Superintendent Mark Davalos. “In the GC/CM model, we’re hiring our contractor during the design phase. Forma will work with our project managers and architects to help solve any potential design problems that may otherwise not be realized until construction. This has the potential to increase efficiency, generate significant cost savings, and will help lead us to on-time delivery of completed buildings.”
The District has combined the two elementary school projects into one, and has classified the CHS remodel as a separate project. A three-part application process was implemented for both projects consisting of an application submission and review, an interview with the construction leadership team, and then an invitation to submit bids. “Forma stood out in all three phases,” Davalos said. “Having one GC/CM partner for all of our building projects was our ideal outcome and we are very pleased with this new partnership.”
Forma was represented at the meeting by Mr. Drew Phillips who expressed delight at having his firm selected. “What I’m most impressed with about these projects is that you’ve put together a team that is really top-class,” Phillips said, adding that Forma is excited to get to work in Centralia.
Davalos reminded the board that “we’re not building schools based on what we wanted last year. We’re building schools to be the best they can be for the next 20-30 years. Forward-thinking schools that ensure we’re doing the best job we can with our community’s investment,” he said.
Planning and design work for the new buildings has been underway since voters in Centralia approved an ambitious $74 million bond in February. The District’s construction leadership team holds a full-day of meetings every Monday. “We’re meeting with the elementary school team in the morning, and the high school team in the afternoon,” Davalos said. Representatives from the team also recently visited many schools in Western Washington that were constructed by the team of project managers, architects, and contractors now in place.
The District hopes to break ground on all three projects by the spring of 2018, with occupancy expected in the fall of 2019.
CSD To Begin Search For General ContractorsPosted by Ed Petersen at 7/28/2017
The CSD passed a critical step in the process to design and build three new schools on Thursday. State officials received a pair of presentations from the District as part of a request for approval to begin bringing general contractors into the design conversations. The state approved the request, and the District is now preparing to publish RFQs for contractors! Once hired, the contractors will take an active role in the design process for each new building and the remodel of CHS. This helps us create a more efficient planning process which will allow a smoother transition into construction.
BLRB Hired as CHS Remodel ArchitectPosted by Ed Petersen: Public Relations Coordinator at 6/15/2017
Our Board of Directors has unanimously approved the hiring of BLRB as architect for the remodel of CHS! The team is already working hard to put together preliminary designs, and public input will be sought in the Fall. Read more here...
Bonds Sold!Posted by Ed Petersen, Communications & Public Relations Coordinator at 5/9/2017
Today was a big day as we sold the bonds approved by voters in February! Superintendent Davalos, Karen Curtis (Fiscal Director) and Board members Kim Ashmore and Bob Fuller travelled to D. A. Davidson's office in Seattle to be there for the exciting action.
With a 1A rating from Moody's, the sale was a huge success. We'll have some very exciting news about your estimated cost per thousand very soon!
BCRA Hired to Design Elementary SchoolsPosted by Ed Petersen at 5/5/2017
Another step done! We've hired BCRA to lead the design process for the new Fords Prairie and Jefferson Lincoln elementary schools. BCRA has a long track record of success in this kind of work. Read more about them here...
Interviews of Elementary School Architect Firms on Monday, May 1Posted by Ed Petersen, Public Relations & Communications Coordinator at 4/25/2017
Good news! The first steps towards beginning the design process for our new schools is underway. We will be interviewing two highly qualified Architecture firms on Monday, May 1. One of these firms will be selected to lead the way in designing our new Fords Prairie and Jefferson Lincoln schools! Board approval will, of course, be required before we can enter into any official partnership.
Stay tuned, we'll have information about interviewing and hiring an architect for the renovation of Centralia High School very soon.
OAC Hired as Project ManagerPosted by Ed Petersen, Public Relations & Communications Coordinator at 3/30/2017
The CSD Board of Directors has unanimously approved the hiring of OAC services as project manager for the district's upcoming construction projects. The firm has strong local ties to Centralia. Principal Dan Chandler is a 1976 graduate of Centralia High School and Senior Associate Kasey L. Wyatt is a 1993 tiger alum.
OAC will be responsible for overseeing the planning and construction phases of the voter-approved bond projects. Those projects include the remodel of Centralia High School and the replacement of both Jefferson Lincoln and Fords Prairie elementary schools. Wyatt will be the lead project manager and expressed excitement at the opportunity to work in Centralia. "Having the opportunity to work with Centralia is something that been on our radar, both Dan and I, for as long as we have been with OAC. We’re both very connected to the community and very passionate about education. This is a dream opportunity for us to serve this opportunity and to show our skills in K-12 planning and construction,” she said."
We are continuing to push forward towards groundbreaking. OAC is already soliciting architecture and design firms and hopes to launch the design process with in the coming few months.
Next in the process is the first round of bond sales, which will be overseen by D. A. Davidson. That will take place on May 9th in Seattle.
Read more about OAC here.
Board of Directors Authorizes Sale of General Obligation BondsPosted by Ed Petersen at 3/23/2017
What happens after voters approve a school district construction bond is a really fascinating process. Many people believe that once the property tax is approved, the district simply collects the money from the county treasurer annually, and uses that to pay loans acquired during the construction process. This assumption isn't far from reality, however the financing of school construction works a little differently than financing the purchase or construction of a home. Our Board of Directors unanimously approved Resolution 2017-01 on March 15th, which allows our superintendent or his delegates to issue and sell bonds to obtain financing for bond projects.
In order to obtain the debt financing required to carry out our construction projects, we must first sell what are called unlimited tax general obligation bonds in an aggregate amount that is not to exceed the $74 million approved by voters. This usually happens in several series over a few years as we have a requirement to spend the money earned from the sale of these bonds within a time period specified by state law. The process of selling these bonds is somewhat similar to stock trading on Wall Street.
We are working with D. A. Davidson, a company that specializes in this type of financing. They will purchase the bonds from us and then resell them to investors after setting prices and interest rates that make them attractive. This gives us the financing we need to build new schools!
Project Manager Selection Process BeginsPosted by Ed Petersen at 3/22/2017
We aren't wasting any time in getting to work on the three bond projects voters approved in February. Our project manager selection committee is interviewing candidate companies this morning in the District Office Boardroom. Once selected and approved by the Board of Directors, the project manager will be responsible for helping the district keep the three construction projects on target, on time, and on budget. They will also help ensure that the district complies with all applicable regulatory requirements.