Today's Question: What should the school board prioritize in new high school construction?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 | 11:44 a.m. CST; updated 1:07 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Columbia School Board will hold a meeting Dec. 14 to go over potential plans for building a new public high school. With costs for the building expected to exceed $60 million, the board must now decide whom to pay to build it.

Two primary options exist for the board to consider:

  • Hire a general contractor
  • Hire a construction management agency

According to an earlier Missourian article, the project's architect would prefer utilizing a construction management agency, suggesting it could allow more local workers to develop the project, since the board would have more hiring control.

However, at an earlier meeting, one board member supported using a general contractor to complete the project. She said a general contractor might be inclined to do it at a cheaper price.

The board might vote at its next meeting. Residents must eventually support spending the money on the project for it to go forward, but only the board votes on who takes over construction.

What should be the school board's emphasis with this aspect of the project? Is it more important to find the cheapest overall price tag, or reserve the ability to leave the most jobs for local residents?


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