School Construction Stigma
I recently had a
conversation with an architect I had just met regarding the types of
project Nolan-Thomas and I have been involved in. When I mentioned that
we had done several School Construction projects his reaction was
unexpected to say the least. "So your one of those change order
Why is it that
Public Works and/or School Construction has such a bad connotation to
it. I believe its in large part to a very few General Contractors
involved in this portion of our industry. Unfortunately, these are
usually the ones you hear the most about. Their approach seems to be
one of constant conflict, whether it involves a continuous stream of
minor, and usually frivolous change order requests or the constant
threat of litigation. These contractors have tainted the name of the
remainder of good general contractors who work on millions of dollars
of school construction projects yearly.
Granted Public Works
"hard bid" projects are inherently difficult. With their highly
technical specifications, a high level of quality expected and
demanded, combined with a usually short time frame for construction and
you can see why these projects are extremely challenging. And of course
I didn't mention the fact that you have to be the low bidder.
In the past 20 years of
doing these types of projects, I have found that they are actually a
great training ground for all types of construction projects. Because
of their difficulty, they teach our managers and field personnel to
become extremely efficient and cost effective in performing the work
while maintaining a high degree of quality. This also means treating
the Owners and Architects as part of the team, and not as adversaries.
So before you pass
judgment, there are those of us who do public works school and a wide
variety of other construction projects without the stereotypical
"Public Works Mind Set".