The advantages of hiring a construction manager with expert bond management for your construction project
Managing a large K-12 school bond project involving the renovation and construction of multiple schools across a district can be complex. After listening to and working with multiple districts across the region, McCownGordon has identified six common challenges districts face when hiring a construction manager and our proven solutions to overcome them.
Challenge: With so many people involved, it can be difficult to understand the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders and project team members.
Solution: Managing a bond project for a school district requires effective leadership. This means creating clarity in responsibility, roles and decision making. As part of the project team, McCownGordon assists in preparing a management plan to establish the best overall approach for the entire bond program. This helps us further define the roles and relationships between the owner, designers, trade partners and McCownGordon. The management plan will be formalized by McCownGordon and become a working management tool and map for all team members.
Challenge: Staying within the allocated budget can be challenging due to unexpected costs, design changes, or market fluctuations.
Solution: With multiple bid packages, the process of managing the budget is critical. McCownGordon implements a robust cost-control system, conducts thorough feasibility studies, and creates contingency plans for unforeseen expenses. The more the project team is synchronized, the less potential for change orders. Ensuring entire project team to be on the same page with respect to the scope and budget simplifies the budget management process and aligns the entire team. Our K-12 team regularly updates the school district on budget status and collaborates on cost-saving measures without compromising quality.
Challenge: Delays in construction can disrupt school schedules and impact the learning environment.
Solution: During preconstruction, our team asks the right questions to completely understand the district’s goals and requirements Then, we build a realistic construction schedule which includes built-in buffers for potential delays. This proactive problem-solving and efficient project management helps mitigate delays and potential disruptions to students and teachers. As project schedules become more defined, we employ established strategies such as early procurement packages and direct equipment purchases to effectively manage lead times. Regularly updating the school district on project milestones, involving them in decision-making processes, and communicating any changes to the timeline promptly represent just some of our core ways we adhere to and manage the schedule.
Challenge: Ensuring construction meets quality standards and complies with all safety regulations is crucial.
Solution: Starting in preconstruction, our team implements a robust quality control program that is strictly adhered to during construction. This program ensures all district expectations are met including; facilities management capacity, building assemblies, HVAC systems and controls. Regular inspections, third-party assessments and adherence to industry standards are essential. McCownGordon engages with the school district in quality assurance processes, providing them with transparent information on construction methods and materials.
Challenge: Keeping all students, faculty, staff and visitors safe while a school building is under construction ranks as an essential priority.
Solution: At McCownGordon, our safety plans for K-12 projects involve more than just a series of checklists. We create site-specific plans that meet our high standards, reflect our core values and achieve the district’s specific safety goals. We go above and beyond to protect students, faculty, and our workers throughout the construction process. This process includes creating robust logistics plans managing school traffic in coordination with construction traffic, recognizing potential hazards, and proactive communication with the local community.
Community and Stakeholder Engagement:
Challenge: Construction activities may disrupt local communities and impact stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers and local neighbors.
Solution: McCownGordon builds a detailed communication plan to keep the district (including board of education, district administration, school administration, staff, students, and neighbors) abreast of ongoing and planned operations, as well as decisions that need to be made and associated deadlines.
Our team holds regular meetings to address concerns, provide progress updates and share plans for minimizing disruptions to the learning environment. If the district desires it, our team can provide a community liaison or information center to address inquiries and keep everyone informed. We understand each bond/school district has unique needs and we will tailor our communication style to best suit each:
- Board of Education reporting
- Financial updates
- Board presentations
- Progress walks
- Weekly or monthly update reports
- Newsletters to students, teachers and parents
- Social media updates
- Drone updates and progress photography
- Student and faculty tours
- Groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies
McCownGordon supports school districts through large bond projects by addressing the above challenges with innovative solutions and a transparent and proactive approach. Regular communication, collaboration, and a commitment to quality and safety helps ease the minds of stakeholders and ensures the successful completion of the K-12 school bond projects. We bring you extensive expertise with bond management and use communication programs to keep teachers, parents, students and the broader community informed, building confidence in the process from start to finish. Our resume includes clients like Emporia Public Schools, Basehor-Linwood School District, Derby Public Schools, Manhattan-Odgen School District, Lawrence Public Schools, Rock Creek School District, Republic County School District, North Kanas City, and more. In fact, many of our school bond collaborations have turned district partners into repeat clients.