Current in Noblesville
Noblesville Schools has selected Performance Services, Inc. as the Design Build Team for the first phase of construction projects. Phase 1 includes additions and/or renovations at Hazel Dell, Hinkle Creek, North, Stony Creek, and White River elementary schools, Noblesville Intermediate School, Noblesville Middle School, and the main campus of Noblesville High School.
The Noblesville Board of School Trustees awarded the design build contract to Performance Services at its Oct. 19 meeting. The school district’s Technical Review Committee recommended the company to the school board after a process that determined that Performance Services offered the best value to the school district. In the Design Build process, the best value is determined by a formula that considers price and several other factors including the design submitted by a company and interviews with the Technical Review Committee.
The design-build process is a new concept for Noblesville Schools, but has been used elsewhere in Indiana. The state approved the process in 2005.
In the past, Noblesville Schools has used the design-bid-build process as its preferred project delivery system for its construction projects. While the design-bid-build process divides the design and construction contracts into two, Design-Build allows the project owner to work under one contract for both the design and construction services. The advantages are in cost savings, reduced risks for the school district, and higher quality projects.
Pricing proposals for the Phase 1 projects were opened on Sept. 30, at the Central Office. The two companies being considered – Performance Services and Shiel Sexton Co., Inc. – made formal presentations to the Technical Review Committee eight days earlier.
Work is expected to begin yet this fall at the elementary schools, in January at the high school and intermediate school, and in June at the middle school. Although work will take place during the day, nothing is to be scheduled in an area at a time that it would interfere with the students’ day. Background checks will be performed on all construction workers and workers will be issued Noblesville Schools identification badges.
The projects, which are not to exceed a cost of $33,686,000, are a part of the $63.6 million facilities referendum approved by voters in May.
Qualified School Construction Bonds and Build America Bonds are expected to be sold in November to finance the Phase I projects as well as the construction of the new elementary school.
Earlier this year Noblesville Schools was approved as a participant in the 2010 Qualified School Construction Bond program by the Indiana Department of Education. The approval allows the school district to finance $10 million of the $63.6 million building projects in a way that will reduce the tax rate for the projects by about 1.25 cents and save taxpayers an estimated $7 million to $7.5 million over the years that the projects are on the tax roll.
Build America Bonds were created by the federal Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Because they are subsidized at a rate of 35 percent by the federal government, the cost to local taxpayers is reduced. Randy Ruhl, financial consultant from City Securities, told the school board that the current interest rate on Build America Bonds is 3.25 percent. If the total construction package is financed through the Qualified School Construction Bonds and the Build America Bonds, the average interest rate for the $63.6 million would be around 3 percent which would result in a substantial savings local taxpayers.
The school board is expected to award a contract to a design-build team for the second phase of the construction work in November. Phase 2 of the “Keeping Our Schools Strong” projects is construction of the elementary school that is to be built on Promise Road north of 146th Street.
Design Build Teams being considered are Performance Services, Inc., Shiel Sexton co., and Turner Construction Co., Inc.
The remaining schedule for the selection of the Design Build Team is as follows:
• November 2 – Final applications and pricing submitted
• November 8 – Final presentations to the technical review committee
• November 16 – Price proposals opened
• November 16 – School board to award contract to team with the “Best Value” proposal.