How Do Preconstruction Services Add Value to a Project?

Phoenixville Middle School

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned: The Value of a Preconstruction Team

When it comes to ‘a penny saved is a penny earned,’ preconstruction teams know that savings uncovered with skilled estimating and bidding services can be worth their weight in gold. That’s why Reynolds’ preconstruction team, with 240 years of combined experience, scours procurement options, drawings, plans and schedules to uncover ways to put money back into school districts’ pockets, saving up to millions of dollars and putting funds back in budgets for projects that had previously been bumped from the “must do” list.

Phoenixville Area School District (PASD) experienced the value of Reynolds’ preconstruction services team during the construction of the new Phoenixville Area Middle School and District Administration Office (DAO), when Reynolds’ preconstruction solutions provided the district with enough cost reductions to fund turf athletic fields, tackling site and schedule challenges along the way.

Solving Challenges

When PASD was first provided with the lowest conceptual estimate of over $70 million for project costs by a competing firm for both the middle school and administrative offices, it looked as though the idea of turf athletic fields would have to be placed on the back burner to devote full funds to school construction. During the construction management interview process, the Reynolds preconstruction determined the project could be completed at a cost of under $60 million. Several strategies were in place to meet the budget goals including utilizing a fiscally responsible cost per square foot and gross square foot per student calculations as well as leveraging extensive knowledge of procurement options. Most notable, though, was implementing a powerful bidding strategy, a combined bid-package method. Under the combined bid-package method, prime contractors could bid for either project or both of them in combination. About half of the lowest responsible bidders used the combined bid, providing savings for the owner with no reduction in scope. These preconstruction services helped bring total construction costs for both the middle school and administrative offices to $56 million, creating room in the budget once more for the fields.

As with all new facilities that share space within a community, PASD had to navigate site challenges throughout the preconstruction phase. The new middle school was being constructed next to the operating high school with shared bus access and parking areas, necessitating thorough coordination and collaboration between the schools. Reynolds’ detailed site phasing plans allowed for smooth scheduling throughout construction, with traffic maintaining a steady flow. Reynolds’ preconstruction team also provided significant coordination during land development, as the site spanned two municipalities and required additional paperwork and communication.

The Hub of the Community

The new 191,899-square-foot middle school and new DAO addition to the high school opened on schedule, in time for the 2012-2013 school year. The three-story, L-shaped school sized for 1,100 students more than accommodates the district’s current middle school student population of 800 and gives the district room to grow. Featuring a gym for varsity sports teams, a cafeteria with large windows, an open-concept library with lots of natural light, and a 900-seat full-fly auditorium to support the district’s music and theater programs, the school supports the district’s mission of being the educational hub of the community.

About Reynolds’ Preconstruction Services

At Reynolds, our approach to preconstruction is designed to save time, save money, and help our clients reduce costs – potentially allowing for addition to project scope or reduction of the overall budget. Creating a savings/cost reduction trend in projects is important from the beginning and is a result of a collaborative effort with the client and design team.

Reynolds offers the following preconstruction services to help keep districts on the path to saving money:

  • Advocating actively on behalf of the owner
  • Managing preconstruction and permitting schedules to influence decision processes and encourage timely final design
  • Providing meticulous cost control and estimating accuracy
  • Estimating continually to maintain project budget and identify cost reduction options
  • Reviewing drawings to minimize change orders
  • Seeking local contractors and suppliers to facilitate returning district dollars to the region and provide positive bid day results
  • Building and sustaining strong working relationships with the project team

If you are considering a project at your district, reach out to Reynolds today to learn more about how our preconstruction team can add value to your project.

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