Minnesota School Crams Renovations into Winter Break

Minnesota School Crams Renovations into Winter Break

$2.7 million

project cost

68 Days

project completion




Duluth Public Schools sought to relocate students, faculty and staff to an improved location and identified a closed school as the ideal space. The district set a hard deadline for January (approximately a six-month timeline) and an all-in budget of $3 million to complete the project. The scope of work included installing HVAC controls and a new security system, building nine offices and seven therapy rooms, putting in place 60 lockers and installing flooring throughout the school. Needless to say, it was a big job.

Realizing the project was going to be impossible to complete on-time with a traditional bidding process, the district sought other construction procurement methods.


Faced with a pressing deadline and a tight budget, the Duluth Public Schools opted to access Gordian’s ezIQC® solution. ezIQC is a form of Job Order Contracting available through national and regional cooperative purchasing networks.

Ideal for use on renovations, repairs and simple construction projects, ezIQC establishes local, competitively-awarded contracts with a single bid. Working with Sourcewell, their co-op, and contractor Kraus-Anderson Construction, the school district found smart alternatives for saving money, such as reusing existing water fountains and retrofitting light fixtures instead of replacing them. The savings from these alternatives added up.

State and Local Summer Construction Projects
Government HVAC Procurement
Summer School Improvements


Collaboration between the school, the cooperative and the contractor was essential in completing this project, which began on October 23 and wrapped up on December 29, ahead of the January deadline.

Ryan Erspamer, principal architect, said, “I have never seen this much collaboration or willingness to offer suggestion/help on a project, ever.”

Thanks to a commitment to value engineering, the project came in at $2.7 million, under the original $3 million budget. Most importantly, students and staff have an improved and more suitable space for learning.

Hear more about this project in this on demand webinar.