Jacobs to oversee $410M Omaha school construction program
- The Omaha Public Schools Board of Education voted earlier this month to award Jacobs Project Management the contract to oversee the board's voter-approved $410 million, phase-two school bond construction program, the Omaha World-Herald reported. Board members unanimously approved a consent agenda recommending Jacobs over the other finalists — Skanska USA and Project Control.
- The evaluation team said it chose Jacobs based on several factors, including its focus on student involvement during the bond process; dedication to two-way communication; teamwork philosophy; commitment to economic inclusiveness; willingness to collaborate and listen to input from stakeholders; and a shorter learning curve because of Jacobs' staff experience on the similar $421 million phase-one construction program in 2014. Jacobs received nearly $16 million for the 2014 contract but is still in negotiations with the board about final details. The company also managed the board's 1999 program.
- The board rejected the selection of Jacobs as the program manager at a June 18 meeting and rebooted the request for proposals process as some members expressed concern that the selection process had not been as thorough as it should have been. Jacobs' duties during the phase-two program will include managing budgets and schedules, supervising bids, inspecting work in place and managing the economic inclusion program, which promotes the use of small and local contractors.
In June, Jacobs won another management contract from the Alleghany County Airport Authority — $12.8 million to oversee the $1.1 billion Pittsburgh International Airport terminal modernization construction project.
As construction projects become more complicated, owners sometimes need more than the traditional owner's representative or a dedicated staff member keeping tabs on the job. Firms like AECOM and Bechtel have teams dedicated to professional services, even though they are more than capable of handling design, planning, construction and risk management on their own. In fact, both firms are at the top of Engineering News-Record's 2018 Top Professional Services Firms list — AECOM as the No. 1 program management company and Bechtel as the No. 1 construction-management-for-fee firm.
Issuers of popular contract forms like The American Institute of Architects also have developed program manager documents to address the advisory relationship with the owner. The AIA has a contract that the owner can use with a designer that will be providing services for more than one project, with an architect of record and with a program manager that will be handling one or more projects. In the contracts, the AIA assigns tasks like developing a program management plan, managing project information, advancing budget and schedule and setting quality control parameters.
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