By Conrad Dudderar
Yukon school officials have identified an Oklahoma City company to oversee construction of the district’s new bond-funded facilities.
Manhattan Construction Co. will be “construction manager at risk” for Yukon Public Schools’ upcoming major construction project.
Highlights will be a new performing arts/college and career center, indoor activity facility and commons expansion on the Yukon High School campus.
These are among improvements being funded through a $194 million bond issue package resoundingly approved by YPS voters on Nov. 9, 2021.
The school district’s architect, The Stacy Group, presented a YPS committee with three candidates seeking to be construction manager.
“With the project, it’s better to have this under one lead construction company to gather all the bids and oversee the process,” YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said.
“It is such a big project that will have so many things going on to coordinate – whether it’s paving, steel, security fence (and) all the different contractors that will be involved in that. There’s no way one person can do it.”
The construction manager will “supervise the people on the ground, day to day,” Yukon’s schools chief told the YPS Board of Education.
“They take that whole burden of making sure that, day to day, every operation is in sync with each other to get it done.”
Board members, at their March 6th meeting, unanimously approved having the Dr. Simeroth “enter into negotiations” with Manhattan Construction.
This will establish a not-to-exceed price for the multi-million-dollar YHS construction project.
“They’ll have to use value engineering, bids and everything else to make sure they come within that (amount),” Simeroth added. “That also includes their construction manager fee.”
YPS Post 5 Board Member Cody Sanders served on the interview committee that chose Manhattan over two other firms.
“Three really qualified companies bid on it, and I think we made what we feel is the best decision for it,” Sanders said. “We’ve got some exciting things coming.”
He referred to a desire to keep this YHS construction “on schedule” to “get the project done.”
YPS is utilizing the construction manager method like the district did with development of a new YHS campus in the early 2010s. CMS Willowbrook was the construction management company for that large project.
The Yukon school district is creating the position of chief operating officer, who will work closely with the construction manager and architect on these and other YPS bond projects.
Canadian County Commissioners used a construction management process to build the Canadian County Expo & Event Center, with Lingo Construction supervising that effort.
Lingo also has been hired as construction manager to renovate the new Canadian County Health Department site and build a future county courthouse complex.
BOND SALE MARCH 29
The Yukon school district’s current 10-year bond issue has not raised property taxes because new bond debt is being added as previous bonds are retired.
A special YPS board meeting is set March 29 for members to sell $18,260,000 of general obligation combined purpose bonds.
The total includes $17,365,000 of $189,265,000 in building bonds and $895,000 of $4,995,000 in transportation bonds. The bonds will become due in two years.
This will be the second installment of YPS bond sales. Some $13,810,000 in building bonds and $190,000 in transportation bonds were previously sold.
The bond sale was authorized at the Feb. 6th YPS board meeting.
NEW SCHOOL AUDITOR
After many years, the Yukon school district has a new auditor.
S&B CPAs & Associates of Enid will perform the 2022-23 school year audit. They will succeed Jerry Putnam, who recently died after decades as the district’s auditor.
“In December of 2022, we began a conversation with Jerry Putnam, CPA about servicing his clients for the 2022-23 audit year,” S&B’s Jay States, CPA wrote in a letter to the YPS Board of Education.
“Before we completed our negotiations, Jerry passed. We realize that left Jerry’s clients for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 audit year with uncertainty for the future.”
S&B CPAs & Associates’ projected fees total $19,000, including $5,000 for the estimate of needs, $10,000 for the audit and $4,000 for uniform guidance.