Rural School Cafeteria Renovated Quickly with ezIQC®️

Rural School Cafeteria Renovated Quickly with ezIQC®️

Damaged Cafeteria Ceiling Tiles

4 Days to
Complete Work

First Time Using Alternative Procurement

Dr. Andrea Guerrero’s email notifications won’t stop dinging. As the Superintendent of Waverly Community Unit School District #6 in Waverly, Illinois, a town of about 1,300 people roughly 90 miles north of St. Louis, she is accustomed to demands on her attention. It’s her responsibility to develop and implement a vision for Waverly schools, manage grant and levy funding, and ensure the district’s operations comply with ever-changing regulations and laws. She also serves as the Director of Transportation, the Director of Technology and the Director of Facilities. Payroll and HR? That’s her too. She embraces being a jack of all trades at a rural school, constant email notifications notwithstanding. In fact, she’s been building toward carrying all these responsibilities for years.

“Rural school superintendents have to know everything about everything,” Dr. Guerrero said. “We have to know about the bidding process, about which light switch to use. It was great to create a team that I don’t have.”

A former ranger at Yosemite National Park, Dr. Guerrero has devoted decades to education, starting as a school secretary then moving into the classroom. Her time teaching was followed by higher-level administrative roles, including a stint as an Athletic Director. She spent twelve years as an Assistant Principal and worked as the Director of Online Education for the University of Illinois. In all that time, she also managed to get a PhD from the University of Nebraska, run a few marathons, open a yoga studio and travel abroad with her family.

Now at Waverly, Dr. Guerrero finds her greatest rewards in watching students develop and supporting her staff. It was her desire to support her staff and knack for problem-solving that inspired Dr. Guerrero to break from the status quo and try an alternative method of construction procurement.

Challenge: Unsafe and Unsightly Cafeteria Ceiling in Rural School

Dr. Guerrero is a hands-on administrator who seizes opportunities to make a personal difference in the lives of her staff and the district’s 349 students. Her purview includes mentoring and coaching the two first-year principals in her employ and organizing various charity events. It also includes overseeing lunch in the district’s lone cafeteria, where all students eat and where parents and other community members serve concessions during athletic events. It was just before lunch duty when she noticed a maintenance worker doing something strange: gluing a ceiling tile into place. When Dr. Guerrero asked about this activity, she was told that this was regular practice – that an earlier cafeteria project addressed the cooking half of the facility but not the eating half of the facility and, at this point, the worker had been told redoing the ceiling would take too long and cost too much.

The logic and reality of that answer did not sit well with the former park ranger with a penchant for personal growth. So, Dr. Guerrero took charge. She called contractors, looking for a partner to take on the ceiling project. The odds were stacked against her. Waverly is a rural community, a good 30 minutes away from bigger cities where larger districts can offer bigger paydays. Dr. Guerrero learned that contractors could not get to her ceiling project for several months. Such a delay would not do. Not only was the current state of the cafeteria ceiling unsafe – the tiles were liable to fall, and strobing overhead lights created an overstimulating environment for those on the Autism spectrum – but they were also water-stained, unsightly and unacceptable.

Solution: Gordian’s ezIQC® Offers Teamwork, Efficiency and Transparent Pricing

During Dr. Guerrero’s pursuit of a contractor, one of them mentioned accessing Gordian’s ezIQC via Sourcewell, a cooperative purchasing network. A form of Job Order Contracting, ezIQC expedites the construction procurement process by satisfying the bid process upfront, allowing owners to complete many projects with one competitively-awarded contract. Additionally, ezIQC is a performance-based contract, meaning contractors who provide a high-quality product and act as good partners have the potential for more work. This incentivizes them to take on lower-cost projects – projects like repairing the ceiling tile in the Waverly cafeteria.

Dr. Guerrero already made other purchases through Sourcewell…She made the decision to purchase construction services through the co-op as well.

At the start of the project, Dr. Guerrero, the building architect and awarded contractor RL Vollintine met at the site to discuss the work. At the end of this Joint Scope Meeting, Dr. Guerrero had a few decisions to make about completing the project, for which RL Vollintine provided input. And Dr. Guerrero welcomed the help.

Streamlined project delivery methods are just part of Gordian’s solutions for school procurement and facilities teams. Visit our dedicated K-12 landing page to find out more.

“Rural school superintendents have to know everything about everything,” Dr. Guerrero said. “We have to know about the bidding process, about which light switch to use. It was great to create a team that I don’t have.”

An aspect of ezIQC that was particularly helpful for this project was preset pricing. With any ezIQC program, owners use Gordian’s Construction Task Catalog (CTC), a Unit Price Book containing detailed line items, to establish the prices for work and materials in agreement with the contractor. These clear, comprehensive tasks and associated costs leave no room for interpretation. The clarity of costs assisted Dr. Guerrero in securing funding from the school board. The project was also partially funded by a grant.

Dr. Guerrero already made other purchases through Sourcewell and, given the potential safety hazards the aging ceiling represented, she made the decision to purchase construction services through the co-op as well.

Result: Efficient, Collaborative Construction Project Delivery Used to Repair Cafeteria Ceiling Quickly

Once the contractor was awarded and funding was secured, there was one final puzzle to solve: how to complete the work with minimal disruption to the school day. School was in session when the project began, and students had to eat one lunch in the gymnasium, but Dr. Guerrero took advantage of a teacher professional development day and a holiday to renovate the ceiling. RL Vollintine helped out by avoiding overnight work to make the most of the district’s budget.

“ezIQC was an efficient use of my time. The budget was clear and easy for my bookkeeper to process. It was easy for my board to understand. It isn’t time-intensive for me,” she added. “It’s a hyper-return on investment.”

The project team met daily to keep Dr. Guerrero in the loop and, within days, the dangerous and ugly drop tiles, relics of decades past, were replaced with a modern grid ceiling.

“We have a new beautiful space that kids actually want to eat in. It’s clean,” Dr. Guerrero said. Though this was the first time she had used ezIQC for procurement, it was not the last. Since this project, a fence has been installed and a canopy has been placed over a freezer with exterior doors that get frozen shut during harsh winter conditions. Dr. Guerrero is even using ezIQC to build an outdoor classroom.

“ezIQC was an efficient use of my time. The budget was clear and easy for my bookkeeper to process. It was easy for my board to understand. It isn’t time-intensive for me,” she added. “It’s a hyper-return on investment.”

Research shows that construction project delivery via Job Order Contracting takes fewer people and less time than traditional delivery methods. Check out this report to find out more.

About Gordian

Gordian is the leader in facility and construction cost data, software and services for all phases of the building lifecycle. A pioneer of Job Order Contracting, Gordian’s solutions also include proprietary RSMeans data construction costs and Facility Intelligence Solutions. From planning to design, to procurement, construction and operations, Gordian’s solutions help clients maximize efficiency, optimize cost savings and increase building quality.