BCSC approves construction manager contracts for renovation projects and new elementary school

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. board members awarded three construction manager as constructor (CMc) partnership packages on Monday night as part of phase 1 of the $306 million Envision 2030 facilities plan. The three packages encompass work to four existing BCSC buildings and construction of a new one.

Included in phase one is the construction of the new westside elementary school and work to Northside Middle School, Central Middle School, Columbus North High School, Columbus East High School, Smith Elementary, Mt. Health Elementary, the R.L Johnson building, and McDowell Education Center.

School board member Jason Major was the lone dissenting vote in the selection of the design architect for the new elementary school, Howeler+Yoon, and the awarding of the CMc packages because he said he believed the new elementary isn’t necessary.

“Just so everybody understands, being consistent with what I’ve stated in the past, based on the data that was shared with us back in November, showed a reduction in students between 2021 and 2031,” Major said. “Anytime we have discussion about approvals for anything during the elementary school, I will vote no because I don’t believe when we’re projecting a reduction in students over the next 10 years, that we need to be building capacity. It’s not a useful expenditure of tax money.”

BCSC board members also approved permission to bid phase 1 work to the R.L. Johnson Building, where Bright Beginnings Early Learning Center is relocating.

The packages awarded were as following:

  • CMc Package #1 includes Northside Middle School and CNHS
  • CMc Package #2 includes Smith Elementary and CEHS
  • CMc Package #3 includes the new west side elementary school

BCSC Director of Operations Brett Boezeman said BCSC eceived proposals from 10 construction firms and sat down for interviews with five.

BCSC officials said the selections were based on presentation material, interviews, references, and past performance. They also noted while cost is an important factor, BCSC is not required to select the lowest bid.

The package for work on Northside Middle School and Columbus North was awarded to Meyer Najem Construction at a fixed fee of $1.6 million.

“Meyer Najem is a firm that we have not yet worked with, but they have done many similar scale and size projects across the state, most recently in Brownsburg, Lebanon, Zionsville and a few other districts,” Boezeman said.

Northside is in need of full renovation— CSO’s Jim Funk previously said Northside is the largest of the projects that isn’t a new building. The estimated cost of the renovation is $50.25 million with an estimated start date of 2025.

Meyer Najem will work on the creation of a performing arts/multi-purpose space, classroom renovations and new collaborative learning spaces at Northside. Phase 1 work on Columbus North is for C4 program expansion, particularly to meet demand in health sciences.

The second package was awarded to Maxwell Construction at a fixed fee of $1.2 million.

Maxwell currently works as the construction manager for the renovations at Parkside and Schmitt elementaries.

Smith Elementary will undergo $20.2 million in work for a new dedicated STEM Lab, new instructional furniture and technology and various classroom renovations. The work at East, like the work at North, is to address C4 expansion. The cost of the C4 upgrades at both high schools is just over $3 million.

The third package, for construction of the new elementary, was given to Taylor Bros and Pepper Construction at a fixed fee of $1.5 million.

Construction during Envision 2030 will take place during three phases over a period of five years, Superintendent Jim Roberts previously said.