Architectural firm recommended to school board
The Moose Lake School Board agreed to recommendations by Superintendent Robert Indihar that ARI Architectural Resources, Inc. of Duluth be hired as architects, and Oscar J. Boldt Construction of Cloquet be hired as the construction manager for drawing up plans for a new school building to present to the voters in a referendum.
The architectural firm and construction manager were reviewed by an ad hoc committee, made up of the Moose Lake School Board, that met on Tuesday, May 27.
Representatives of ARI had made a presentation to the board at the last ad hoc meeting.
“I want to put together a good team,” said Supt. Indihar. “We dropped our other architect. I see that ARI is more our style and for northern Minnesota. I feel comfortable with them. I called the schools that they had built and received positive comments.”
His comments were echoed by board Chairwoman Kris Lyons.
“They seemed to listen,” she said. “I’ve been to South Ridge, and it seemed real open. I feel comfortable with them. They like to use local workers.”
Supt. Indihar said he also contacted Oscar J. Boldt Construction of Cloquet about serving as the construction manager of the project. He said he met with Keith Skelton of Mercy Hospital to ask for comments about how the firm was to work with on Mercy’s construction projects.
“Keith said that he had no concerns at all about Boldt,” said Supt. Indihar. “One of their strengths is that they use local people on their projects.”
Board member Tom Paull said instead of a construction manager, that firm should be called the owner’s representative.
Supt. Indihar said Boldt would like 2 to 3 percent of the project, such as furnishing a crew and materials if there is a shortage at some point in the construction project.
“For example, if there is a shortage of sheetrockers, they could bring some in to get the job done,” he explained. “We would have the contracts but they would help us manage them.”
He added that Boldt would be the firm that hires contractors for areas such as plumbing and carpentry.
Supt. Indihar said he sees that ARI and Boldt would work together in a check and balance system, and report to the board and superintendent. ARI would hire civil engineers and similar firms, and Boldt would hire the trades.
Change orders would be kept to a minimum to keep the cost of the project down.
“We don’t want to have it so that if someone makes a mistake, they profit from it,” said Supt. Indihar. “Those would be their blunders. The construction part has to go out for bids.”
He suggested inviting representatives of each firm to the next special meeting of the board on June 5 at 4:30 p.m. before a decision is made to hire the two firms.
“They won’t be officially hired until the referendum is passed,” said board member Julie Peterson.
“Both have said that they will not charge us until the referendum passes,” added Supt. Indihar. “If it passes we’ll be in full gear and we can move forward. “
He explained the new school will be built large enough to allow 10 extra students in a classroom, and it will be designed to add classrooms in the future.
The big spaces, such as the auditorium and commons area, are more expensive and would remain the same in future growth.
Board members toured the South Ridge campus near Culver and East High School in Duluth on Thursday, May 29 to view projects designed by ARI.