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Design Build - New HS & New MS

Progressive Design/Build Approved for New High School #4 and New Middle School #6

The Issaquah School District 411 has been approved to use Progressive Design/Build by the state Capital Projects Advisory Review Board on two upcoming projects: New High School #4 and New Middle School #6.  The process brings the designer and builder team on earlier to help with a project’s design and construction costs.  Design/Build is an alternative process that the District has not used before. The District has determined that Progressive D/B is the process best suited for both the middle school and high school projects.

Progressive Design/Build is different than traditional D/B in that the architect/contractor (Design/Build) team is selected based on qualifications rather than selected in a competition of design and cost proposals. The process allows selection of the best qualified team providing the best cost of services proposal. It also allows design work to begin sooner with the District involved in the design process from the very start. More firms may compete as the cost to compete in a traditional D/B selection can require a full schematic design effort - a very costly effort for three firms where only one will be selected. The honorarium for the two losing firms can also be an expensive cost to the District.  

Some of the benefits the District could reap from using Progressive Design/Build are quicker project delivery, construction cost control, certainty of cost at an earlier date, project design that meets the budget, the ability to start portions of the work early, and a shorter overall project schedule.

The design/build team can also perform site investigations during preconstruction to weed out potential unforeseen conditions such as underground utilities and poor soils. The team can also bid early long-lead materials to ensure they are available and do not negatively affect the schedule.

There can also be significant savings in project delivery time using the Progressive Design-Build process. A design-build team will be a critical partner in material selection, design details, value engineering and constructability analysis. The process can bid and lock-in material prices as much as six months sooner than the traditional design-bid-build-method.

The 1400-student high school and 850-student middle school will be two separate projects. The $120 million high school is planned to be built along 228th Ave. SE where Providence Heights College and City Church were located. The site will have space for a future elementary school. The $74 million middle school is planned to be built on nine acres of property located at the entrance of the Talus community in Issaquah.  Both schools are funded by a $533.5 million bond measure passed in 2016. The District wants to open the middle school in fall 2021 and the high school a year later. 

OAC is consulting with the District on the two projects. OAC, which has worked on a number of Design Build projects, is also consulting on a $2.6 million office building for the Washington State School Directors’ Association in Olympia that is using Progressive Design Build. 

OAC and the District would like to interview three short-listed firms for each school in mid-March and award contracts about a week later. Engineering consultants and subcontractors will be jointly selected by the design-builder and the District when needed.