Staples, Minn.,
21:40 PM

School makes room for more students quicker with ezIQC

Ada-Borup Facility Manager Doug Slininger
We like the ease of using a construction contract to streamline the process. Going with ezIQC got this project done, plain and simple.
Ada-Borup Facility Manager Doug Slininger

Norman County West High School called Halstad, Minn. home for 36 years. But, like other rural schools across the state, the school experienced a significant decline in enrollment in recent years.

After months of research and planning, on a chilly evening in January 2018, Norman County West School Board reached an agreement with Ada-Borup School District to send their sixth through 12th grade students there beginning in the fall of the 2018-2019 school year.

Ada-Borup had a mere nine months to plan for the influx of more than 100 students, with only the summer to complete the majority of the construction to add space to accommodate everyone.

The district’s board and administration weighed their options, including whether to build a permanent addition to the school or to erect temporary classrooms. Ultimately, they decided to build an addition using a competitively bid Gordian ezIQC® contract through Sourcewell.

According to Sourcewell Contract Administrator Zach Heidmann, ezIQC establishes local, competitively-solicited prices for repairs, renovations, upgrades, and new construction projects. Upfront pricing eliminates guesswork and the need to bid each project separately. Because the bid process has already been satisfied, schools and other government entities can begin construction almost immediately.

The simplicity of ezIQC contracts have become a popular solution with more than Minnesota school districts using this solution between January 2015 and December 2018.

“Schools like the ezIQC solution because it provides construction contractors the ability to come in during summer or winter breaks and complete projects before school resumes,” Heidmann says.

For Ada-Borup schools, it came down to time and money.

“We reached out to another firm to obtain a cost estimate using the conventional route when we were first considering the building addition,” Ada-Borup Facility Manager Doug Slininger said. “It was nearly double the cost and came with a four-month extended construction time. We like the ease of using a construction contract to streamline the process. Going with ezIQC got this project done, plain and simple.”

Ada-Borup administrators recognized Nor-Son Construction as an ezIQC option and chose them as the contractor in part because the company had worked successfully with the school district before on a bathroom renovation.

To add pressure to an already tight timeline, after work began, Nor-Son workers discovered underground geothermal lines were not located where the blueprints indicated and had to relocate them before work could continue. Nor-Son project leaders found a sub-contractor to move the lines using an ezIQC contract that allows for completion of an indefinite number of projects.

According to Gordian representatives, if Ada-Borup had used traditional procurement, work would have stopped until a change order could be negotiated, potentially adding weeks to the timeline and thousands of dollars to the budget. With ezIQC, this large change was no trouble at all.

“Nor-Son never lost a beat in finishing the project on time,” Slininger said.

By fall break in October 2018, Ada-Borup High School students were in the new classrooms.

Using ezIQC instead of traditional construction procurement saved the school four months of work and cut their costs almost in half. The newly arriving students integrated seamlessly and comfortably into their new school

About Sourcewell

Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota’s nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with over 300 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.