Colfax school board selects Market & Johnson for construction management

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  The Colfax Board of Education has selected Market & Johnson, general building contractors and construction managers, to do construction management for the projects approved in the $7.2 million referendum. 

Four companies, Miron Construction Company, Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, H&H Energy Services, Inc. and Market & Johnson, made presentations to the school board during the December 19 meeting. 

Construction of new elementary classrooms, upgrades to the heating and ventilation system, moving the high school office, updating the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math program and building a new bus maintenance garage must be completed by the time school starts next August. 

The advantage to having a construction management company is that the construction manager will be responsible for coordinating the ordering of materials and keeping the general contractor and sub-contractors working together so the projects can be completed by the deadline.

Following the presentations during open session, the Board of Education convened in closed session to discuss the four companies. 

Rose

Market & Johnson has offices in Eau Claire, LaCrosse and in Minnesota.

The on-site project superintendent will be Gregg Rose, a 1976 Colfax High School graduate. 

Rose has worked for Market & Johnson for 20 years.

While Rose, a taxpayer in the district whose children also graduated from Colfax, was not the only factor in the school board selecting Market & Johnson, Rose as project superintendent did carry some weight with the Board of Education, said Bill Yingst, school district administrator, several days after the school board meeting.

Market & Johnson has a history of completing projects on time and under budget, said Jason Plante, director of business development with Market & Johnson, during the presentation to the Board of Education.

The company also has a long history of working with the school district’s architectural firm, SDS Architects, he said.

According to information provided to the school board, Market & Johnson and SDS Architects have recently worked together on projects for the Durand school district, the Chippewa Falls school district, the new Bloomer elementary school and the Menomonie high school project.

All together, Market & Johnson has worked on more than 60 school projects in west central and northern Wisconsin.

Within the last five years, Market & Johnson has completed school projects in Durand, Spring Valley, Menomonie, Altoona, Chippewa Falls, Osseo-Fairchild, Bloomer, Whitehall, Boyceville, St. Croix Falls, Onalaska, Ashland, Melrose-Mindoro and Spooner. 

Project costs

Market & Johnson estimates the project cost for the work that will be completed at Colfax schools is $5 million.

Non-construction items that were included in the referendum will include purchasing six new liquid propane buses and paying off the school district’s unfunded pension liability at a total cost of about $1 million.

The estimated cost for Market & Johnson’s construction services is $154,975.

“Reimbursables” and site services, based on three and a half months of construction, would be an additional $62,475 and includes the cost of a project manager, the on-site full-time employment of the project superintendent, safety personnel, an office trailer, office supplies, printing and copying, a data package, and mobilization and demobilization.

“School projects should be a celebration,” Plante said during the presentation to the school board, adding that Market & Johnson is willing to do tours of the construction for community groups so taxpayers can see what is being done with the money they approved in the referendum.

Start date

Construction is expected to begin in April or May with the new classrooms on the north side of Colfax Elementary.

The Colfax school district has not yet advertised for bids for a general contractor.

Miron Construction Company, which has an office in Eau Claire, was a close second for the Board of Education, Yingst said. 

About one-third of Miron’s business is K-12 school projects, and the company bids about $3 billion worth of work per year, a representative for the company told the school board. 

The Kraus-Anderson Construction Company has offices in Minnesota and has completed more than $1 billion of K-12 projects in the last five years. 

H&H Energy Services Inc. worked on the Colfax school district’s energy efficiency project three years ago and has an office in Madison. 

Design development for the Colfax school district’s project is expected to be completed in February of 2017, and construction documents are expected to be completed and bidding completed in April of 2017.