The Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors have agreed to have the architect for the new jail contact prospective construction managers for the project for interviews Oct. 25.
The purpose of a construction manager would be to act as a go-between or "ramrod" to keep the project on track - and hopefully save money in the long run.
"In some cases, I've seen construction managers save twice what their fee is," said Rod Moore of Moore & Associates of Omaha, Neb., the firm heading up the $4.8-million jail project. "They're constantly out there pushing," Moore said of construction managers. That could mean a one- to two-month savings in construction time, Moore said.
Moore did offer one caveat, however. It was that the Board should let the construction manager do his job if the county should decide to hire one.
"If you hire a construction manager you have to let him run the job regardless of how he does it," Moore said. "You've got to let them run the project."
Moore said that while projects between $1 million and $1.5 million might not warrant a construction manager, in a project the size of the proposed county jail, there could be substantial savings. He said a construction manager would generally cost 3 to 5 percent of the overall cost of construction which is less than the project cost which includes architect's and financial services fees. Regardless of whether a construction manager is hired, Moore said he would conduct his own project inspections.
"My inspections are for my protection," Moore said.
Moore said he would prefer to retain a construction manager as soon as possible, even before the Nov. 8 jail bond election. "I would make their involvement at this time on a limited basis," Moore said.
Moore also offered a tentative timetable for the jail project.
"I think we could still make the March bid letting if it (jail bond issue) passes," Moore said. "It would be a March or April bid date."
The Board agreed to meet with Moore and a minimum of two prospective construction managers in a special session 1:30 p.m. Oct. 25.