MADISON – The Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved the first of four phases for the construction of a new elementary school. The “early procurement package” is intended get ahead of likely supply chain issues and delays.
“It’s extremely simple and extremely important,” Adam Levitus, the consultant from Colliers working on the Madison Schools Project with the town, said as he fielded questions from the board.
He said this is the first of four phases that will go to the State for approval for the new school building project, currently estimated to cost $64.6 million after board members approved moving almost $3.5 million available from the Polson Middle School project, which is currently under budget.
The first package, Levitus said, is the early procurement package, which will be followed by the main construction package, which is under its final reviews by third party reviewers with estimates probably coming back in October. It is then later followed by a furniture and IT equipment package and a playground package.
These are packages that go to the State for review, he explained.
“It’s not a contract approval,” Levitus said. “It’s an assertion that the scope of the package is in alignment with the education specifications that the Board of Education would want.”
He said the early procurement package is intended to get ahead of long lead items for buying equipment early enough that it doesn’t slow down the construction process.
“This isn’t always done,” said Board Chair Seth Klaskin. “With supply chain issues, it takes a much longer lead time to get items to build the building to educational specifications.”
Levitus said items that are part of the early procurement include a generator, piping for the water supply, electrical switches and panels and a dedicated outdoor air system.
“What we’ve heard from our construction manager, these components can run 16 months,” he said, adding that the piping was something that could have been ordered and received in a matter of weeks, but due to supply chain issues is now taking as long as eight months.
“It’s not as bad as the generator, which can be 16 months,” he said. “There’s no harm in getting the numbers now.”
Levitus said the meeting for approval from the State will take place on Sept. 13. The State will send out a letter within two to three weeks with approval, after which the early procurement package will go out to bid.
“Sometime in November would be when the contract for the items come in,” he said. “We buy enough that we can keep moving.”