The Brainerd School Board agreed Friday to hire Kraus Anderson of Minneapolis for about $1.6 million as its construction management firm for the $59.9 million building project.
The vote was unanimous.
The board interviewed Barton Malow, Wayzata; E & V Consultants and Kraus Anderson, both of Minneapolis; and Nor-son, Brainerd, and A & P, Minneapolis. Nor-son and A & P submitted a joint proposal.
The board selected Kraus Anderson and E & V Consultants as its top two choices. E & V Consultants' proposal was an estimated $1.24 million, the lowest proposal.
After reviewing the proposals more closely, the board found that the $360,000 difference between the two firms came from the number of staff who would be at the Brainerd site.
Kraus Anderson will have five people on the middle school and remodeling sites and E & V Consultants would have three people at the site and other staff available if needed.
Earl Wolleat, Brainerd School District director of building and grounds, said the number of people at the construction site is important. He said it could reduce the number of change orders, which could reduce the overall construction cost.
"I am reluctant to pay the extra money; however, I believe it's money well spent," said Lew Hudson, board member.
Janet Moran, board member, said Kraus Anderson has a good reputation and it was ranked the No. 1 builder in the state for 2001.
"They were also sensitive to local contracting," said Moran.
Randy Klinger, board vice chair, said he was impressed with the firm's day-to-day operation and noted the company has previous experience working on several education projects.
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