CARSON CITY — A proposed small renovation to Carson City Elementary School’s south pod is being delayed until a rebid on the project can be completed.
During the Nov. 26 school board meeting, Carson City-Crystal Area Schools Superintendent Kevin Murphy questioned CARMI Design Group’s role in the project.
“Over the course of the last three months, I have taken some time with what we are currently doing with our agreement with CARMI Design, knowing that it has been a dual role as construction manager and architect, and I have a little bit of concern with that,” Murphy said.
Murphy got approval from school board members on Nov. 26 to change the district’s working relationship with Tony Leininger, owner of CARMI Design Group in Edwardsburg.
“It is important to say that there has been a long relationship with CARMI Design,” Murphy said. “I don’t know if he (Leininger) would like to be on one side or the other on our bond projects.”
School Board President Tom Wilcox wanted clarification about the change with CARMI.
“So are we looking for a construction manager for the bathroom project or is this for future projects?” Wilcox asked.
“Both questions need to be addressed so we can determine what we are going to do with the bathroom project and with our future projects,” Murphy said.
School Board Vice President Ben Adkins said his understanding from earlier meetings with school board members Kriss Hummel and Gregg McAlvey was that this decision wouldn’t affect current projects.
“I think they are looking for a construction manager for any project not currently in progress,” Adkins said. “Some of the stuff I heard is that these other firms coming in could be the set of fresh eyes we need to get the bathroom project closer to the budgeted cost.”
Leininger is the acting construction manager, the architect and owner of CARMI Design Group and that is not the model Murphy wants to continue to use.
“This model has worked previously for the school district,” Murphy said. “It just has been my experience that this doesn’t bring to the table the appropriate exchange of ideas when you only have two people at the table versus three.”
Murphy is seeking the best options for the school district financially, especially after the renovation that was originally approved at $150,000 came back to the school board with bids totaling more than $260,000.
“We can all learn from things from that,” Murphy said. “Moving forward, we need to make sure the budget keeps up whenever the scope of work changes, I feel it would be better for us as the owners and it is my preference for us to have more people at the table.”
On Nov. 29, Murphy and Leininger met to discuss the future role CARMI will have with the school district.
“It was a very positive and productive meeting,” Murphy told The Carson City Gazette. “Tony is certainly open to the changes I discussed during the school board meeting.”
CARMI may still have some role in the restroom project that was put on hold for being over budget in October. However, what roll that will be is yet to be determined.
“We hope to continue the long relationship with CARMI in the future,” Murphy said. “Certainly CARMI will be part of the equation when we rebid the project.”