While a proposed school bond issue has not yet passed, members of the Leavenworth Board of Education have started discussing how the construction resulting from the bond issue could be managed.

While a proposed school bond issue has not yet passed, members of the Leavenworth Board of Education have started discussing how the construction resulting from the bond issue could be managed.

During a special meeting Tuesday, board members voted to have an open forum during a May 16 school board meeting to discuss alternative construction delivery methods.

The Leavenworth school board has proposed a $36.76 million bond issue. If approved by voters, the bond issue would close Lawson Elementary School as an elementary school, and the building would be converted into an early education center for all of the district's prekindergarten and kindergarten classes.

The bond issue also would pay for an addition to Richard Warren Middle School, and all of the district's fifth-grade classes would be moved to that campus.

The bond issue also would pay for renovations at other school buildings.

The bond issue election will utilize mail ballots that will be sent to voters in the school district later this month. The deadline for returning the mail ballots is noon June 15.

During Tuesday's special meeting, board members heard from Ron Ferris, business development officer for the Nabholz construction company.

Ferris reviewed what he said are the three most common construction delivery systems for school bond projects in Kansas.

He said one is a traditional design-bid-build process in which an architect completes a design and a general contractor is then hired for the project.

"This is still used today to some extent," he said.

Another method is what he referred to as a construction manager-agency process, which he said was used for the school district's last bond issue.

"I'm not a proponent of this delivery method," Ferris said.

He said it puts a lot of responsibility on school district personnel.

The third method he reviewed is called the construction manager at-risk system.

Ferris said this method places the responsibility of getting a project done on time and on budget on the construction manager. He said the school district would be given a guaranteed maximum price.

"The school district does get to keep any savings we may find," he said.

Ferris said most school districts in the state are now using this method.

"It's a great system," he said.

Under this system, the construction manager would participate during the design phase for the project.

Ferris said this system requires a 45-60 day process to select a construction manager. This process includes requesting companies to submit their qualifications, and then requesting proposals from three to five of the companies. He said representatives of these companies then would be interviewed.

He said the first step in the process would be to advertise that board members plan to talk about alternative construction delivery methods in an open forum.

Tuesday's motion to schedule the open forum discussion for the May 16 meeting passed 4-0. Board members Jose Morales, Loyal Torkelson and Nancy Klemp were absent.

"You're not locked into anything," Superintendent Mike Roth told board members Tuesday.

Roth said board members have started the process ahead of the school bond election to avoid a potential delay if the bond issue passes in June.

Also Tuesday, board members approved a staffing report which listed various personnel changes in the school district. Board members approved the staffing report after meeting behind closed doors in executive session for 13 minutes.

The staffing report did not address the teaching contract of longtime high school basketball coach Larry Hogan. Last month, board members voted to notify Hogan of their intent not to renew his teaching contract for the next school year. A final vote regarding the non-renewal of the contract likely will come during the May 16 meeting.

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