NWACC Board agrees to select Nabholtz as contractor for next building

Posted: November 7, 2017 at 1 a.m.

BENTONVILLE -- Northwest Arkansas Community College's Board of Trustees affirmed the Land Use Committee's recommendation to hire Nabholtz Construction as the general contractor for its Integrated Design Lab.

The board approved the selection 8-0 at its meeting Monday. Board member Ron Branscum was absent.

The college will use the "construction at risk" method to build the lab, which will house the workforce construction management and visual arts programs.

The construction manager at risk method brings the general contractor and project architect together for the design and construction process instead of the more traditional process where a project is designed, bid and then built, officials explained.

A guaranteed maximum price for the project is established, and the contractor pays for the extra cost if it exceeds that price, officials have said.

There are less change orders in this method, making it more efficient, said Debi Buckley, vice president of finance and administration.

College officials are looking at opening the Integrated Design Lab in fall 2019. They estimate the building to be about 24,000 square feet and cost $5.5 million.

That $5 million isn't the guaranteed maximum price, officials clarified after board member Mark Scott asked what the price was set at.

The $5.5 million is just a preliminary estimate, Buckley said.

"We have to make an estimate early on based on square footage of the building and cost per square foot," Buckley said.

"At this point, we'll go into negotiations with the contractor that we've selected" to create a guaranteed maximum price, said Joe Spivey, board member and chairman of the Land Use Committee.

The committee unanimously approved Nabholtz at its Nov. 1 meeting.

The board also heard from Sevin Gallo, world history professor, and Jeremy Youmans, director of international programs, about the faculty-led study abroad programs. This was the first year the college took students to Greece and Thailand. It was the second year for a trip to Italy.

The two are looking to add Haiti and Germany trips next summer. The trips are also open to community members. They cost between $2,800 and $4,500 depending on the location, Youmans said.

The NWACC Foundation also offers international trips for community members. They are geared more toward the tourist than the student, NWACC President Evelyn Jorgenson, added.

The board also selected its 2018 officers. Spivey will serve as chairman, Todd Schwartz as vice chairman and Ron Branscum as secretary.

NW News on 11/07/2017