Parkview chooses J.P. Cullen for $17 million project

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Gina Duwe
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

ORFORDVILLE--The Parkview School District has hired J.P. Cullen & Sons of Janesville as the general contractor for its $17 million school remodeling and addition in Orfordville.

The school board interviewed representatives from J.P. Cullen and Kraemer Brothers of Plain at a special meeting Monday, Superintendent Steve Lutzke said Tuesday.

Board members picked Cullen 6-0 after a closed session discussion, he said.

Voters last month approved a $17 million referendum to swap the grade levels at the Orfordville schools by remodeling the junior/senior high school and remodeling and adding on to the elementary school.

Construction costs will not total $17 million. That amount includes fees for the architect, general contractor and some contingencies, Lutzke said. 

Cullen will be paid 1.33 percent of the building project costs for managing the construction. Costs are not final because the project still is being planned, but the building cost is estimated about $15.5 million, Lutzke said.

Fees for items that fall outside the regular management of the project, such as fencing, signs, postage, office supplies and travel, are estimated at about $380,000, he said.

Kraemer Brothers' proposed charges were 1.3 percent of the project, but the fees outside the management were about $700,000, Lutzke said.

The board chose Cullen for several reasons, Lutzke said, including the quality of work, the positive references the district has received from other clients and the large amount of education construction Cullen does each year. Cullen's high safety ratings, ability to come in at or below budget and location in Janesville also were factors, he said.

“Many of our students' parents work for them,” he said. “It's just an all-around good selection for us.”

The school board invited five companies to bid on the project, and four submitted proposals. The others were Miron Construction of Neenah, Design Structures of Middleton and Gilbank Construction of Clinton, which did not submit a proposal.

Cullen will begin working with Somerville, the district's architectural company, to finalize a design in the next few months. The school board at its June 16 meeting likely will approve borrowing for the project, making the money available by July 1.

The district is planning a kick-off meeting next week for staff from the school district, Somerville and Cullen to start developing a timeline. Cullen has a plan to have the project done in time for the start of school in fall 2015, Lutzke said.

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