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School board picks construction management firm
Pope to oversee work on proposed new Rincon Elementary
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The Effingham County school board has picked its construction manager for the proposed future Rincon Elementary School.

Board members approved, in a 5-0 vote, contracting with Pope Construction of Statesboro to serve as construction manager for additions to the Effingham College and Career Academy and the soon-to-be built Rincon Elementary School. Pope will charge an 8 percent fee for the construction costs. Piedmont Construction Group of Macon submitted a bid for an 11.1 percent fee.

“We have used Pope many times before,” Superintendent Randy Shearouse said.

Using a construction manager is more beneficial than the usual design-bid-build format, Shearouse said.

“Their job as the construction manager is to work with the local subs to get the best price possible,” he said. “We felt we got a better price than doing design/bid/build. In theory, it saves us some money. His job is to get the best price, the best subs. The purpose is to get it as low as he can.”

The construction manager fee is based on the project’s cost of the project, and that will be determined by how much the subcontractors charge to complete the work.

“He will go to the individual subs,” Chairman Lamar Allen said of the construction manager. “There is no construction company doing the building.”

Added Shearouse: “If you have local subs you use all the time, you normally can get them a little cheaper because you use them for a lot of projects.”

Using this method, Shearouse explained, also may help identify places the school system can cut costs up front. For instance, he said, an architect may call for an 8-inch well, and the construction manager may say a 6-inch well will suffice.

The school system has 41 acres off Fort Howard Road, and construction on a new Rincon Elementary School could start as early as January 2016. It is expected to be completed before the start of the 2017 school year.

The existing Rincon Elementary was built in 1962 and has been renovated several times over the years. It also has a handful of portable units serving as classrooms. Effingham County does not qualify for state money for building a new school because it is “building ahead of an established need.”

The new RES will be built with local funds and will be constructed to accommodate 1,000 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The ECCA addition will include classrooms, computer lab, science lab and an aeronautical lab/classroom to support the system’s new STEM program. The addition is expected to be ready for the start of school in 2016.