To avoid construction problems that plagued the opening of Red Oak Elementary School, the board of the Oak Park Unified School District voted to hire a construction management firm for $346,000 to oversee the next phase of building at the school.
"We're hiring an agent for the district to organize and ride herd on this contract," Assistant Supt. Stan Mantooth said.
Professional Construction Management of Sacramento will take the place of the traditional general contractor. On a typical construction job, the general contractor negotiates with and supervises all subcontractors. Instead, Professional Construction Management will negotiate with each subcontractor on behalf of the school district.
The district board voted to hire the management firm Tuesday night.
By hiring the firm, the board hopes to avoid a repeat of the delays that forced it to postpone Red Oak's opening for two weeks. All other Oak Park students returned to school Sept. 6.
The second phase of construction, which will cost up to $1.9 million, includes a permanent building housing a multipurpose room, library, offices and a nine-classroom wing. That phase is scheduled for completion next summer.
Mantooth said use of Professional Construction Management could result in a small savings in the overall cost of the project.
"Our whole approach is preventative, preventative, preventative," firm Vice President George Zettel said at an earlier board meeting. "We wear the hat of the district from the first day that we step on the site."