Company to oversee school building work

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Morrison-Maierle has been chosen as the lead engineering firm to manage the elementary building project for Kalispell Public Schools.

After a $3.35 million bond request was approved by voters Tuesday, the district moves forward with building four classrooms and a multi-purpose room at Peterson Elementary, four classrooms at Edgerton Elementary and a central kitchen located near Kalispell Middle School.

The school board chose Morrison-Maierle Sept. 11 based on previous experience working with the firm and a time crunch for completing the classroom additions by August 2013.

Following the school district’s request for qualifications last spring, Morrison-Maierle initially was hired as the district’s engineering firm of record.

The firm was granted a three-year contract that began March 2011 to provide services on an “as needed” basis. The contract did not obligate the district to use Morrison-Maierle services — or grant exclusivity — for the elementary project.

Included in the board’s Sept. 11 decision, the engineering firm was granted flexibility to select and recommend an architectural firm. By doing this, the district avoids a possible three- to six-week delay in advertising and interviewing engineers and architects.

Tom Heinecke of Morrison-Maierle said he is going to give a recommendation to the district before making a final decision.

Both the board and Heinecke expressed interest in hiring a local architectural firm.

Heinecke started doing preliminary work for the elementary project in fall 2011. Morrison-Maierle’s work on the project has been funded through a Montana Department of Commerce Quality Schools $25,000 Planning grant and $6,250 from the district.

Morrison-Maierle has offices in Kalispell and five other Montana cities.

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