Vigo School Board set to act on high schools HVAC project

May 3—A major HVAC project for North, South and West Vigo high schools is expected to advance Monday, with several items on the Vigo County School Board agenda.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. in the board room of the administration office, 501 W. Olive St. in West Terre Haute.

John Newport, district chief operating officer, Schmidt Associates and Garmong Construction Services will provide an update on the HVAC project and the projected construction schedule.

Last summer, the board hired Garmong to provide "construction manager as a constructor," also known as CMc, services for the project, while Schmidt was hired as the architect/engineer.

The board will be asked to approve recommendation letters from Garmong to assign contracts to the contractors working on the high school HVAC projects.

Garmong awards the contracts.

Another agenda items involves the guaranteed maximum price of the project. The board will be asked to approve Garmong's guaranteed maximum price, the final piece to the CMc project before construction begins.

No information on the actual guaranteed maximum price was available Friday.

Last summer, Newport explained the construction manager as a constructor model, which was approved by the state Legislature in 2014. It can speed up the process somewhat over the traditional design/bid/build model, he said.

Under the CMc model, the owner chooses an architect to design (Schmidt), but instead of waiting until the drawings are completed (like a traditional design-bid-build), the district also selects a construction manager as constructor to provide constructability reviews, cost estimates, scheduling and planning during the design phase.

It allows for better communication between the CMc and the architect because they plan and design the project together, Newport had stated.

The team then publicly bids individual trade packages to subcontractors. The process provides a guaranteed maximum price, a guaranteed schedule, and transfers the risk of timeline and cost from the school corporation to the CMc, Newport had stated.

When the project was discussed last summer, the HVAC/plumbing project had been estimated at about $24 million, and the district was to use $18 million in federal ESSER funds to address HVAC and related electrical issues and it was to use $6 million in general obligation bond funds to address plumbing needs.

At that time, officials stated the deadline to use ESSER funds was December 2024.

One factor that could complicate the project was the potential for supply chain and labor shortage issues, officials said at that time.

In other matters, the board is expected to act on:

—A calendar for 2024-25. Superintendent Chris Himsel will have the final calendar available once it is approved.

—A memorandum of understanding for pilot school-based health services.

Also, the school district will conduct an auction at 10 a.m. May 11 at the General Services Building, 3250 Maple Ave. Items for sale include buses, furniture and other surplus items.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at Follow Sue on X at @TribStarSue.