Alternative to Low Bids Saved Money on Edmonds School Remodel

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Edmonds School District has $1.7 million extra to spend on capital projects, the result of significant savings in rebuilding Meadowdale Middle School.

School leaders credit in part the way the contract was handled for construction of the school, which opened in 2011 on the same campus as the old building at 6500 168th St. SW in Lynnwood.

Instead of taking the traditional design-bid-build approach, which rewards the lowest responsible bid on a design, the district received state permission to hire -- early in the process -- a general contractor to manage the project through completion.

The general contractor-construction manager method is a popular alternative for complex public works projects and one the Edmonds district would like to use more often. But public institutions seeking to use the process must have state permission, and officials still are studying its worth. So far, only certain kinds of projects are deemed suitable.

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