Princeton Public Schools Appoints Construction Management Firm for Facilities Referendum
(Princeton, NJ) At its meeting on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, the Board of Education for the Princeton Public Schools took an important next step in the implementation of its school facilities referendum projects by approving a contract to appoint the Piscataway-based firm Epic Management, Inc. (“EPIC”) as its construction manager.
The Construction Manager is a critical partner in the facilities referendum construction process, serving as the District’s and Board’s “eyes and ears,” by overseeing the pre-construction, construction, and post-construction and close-out phases. EPIC will work cooperatively with the architects and engineers, but will report directly to the District and Board.
An Evaluation Committee comprised of the Facilities Committee and senior administrators recommended EPIC after interviewing four highly-qualified finalist firms for the construction management position.
EPIC, which presented the least expensive proposal, also demonstrated the largest amount of school construction experience, having managed over $4 billion of school construction projects. In its oversight of the implementation of the $26.9 million of approved projects for the Princeton Public Schools, EPIC will provide the district with detailed cost estimates, assist with the bidding process, outline a construction schedule, and work with architects and administrators to manage the day-to-day construction at each of the school sites.
EPIC, founded in 1971, has managed 133 New Jersey K-12 programs, encompassing almost 1,000 school projects, including work with districts in the region, such as East Windsor, Hamilton, and the Mercer County Improvement Authority. EPIC, which served as construction manager for the PPS 2001 referendum, also has 10 years of experience working with Princeton University, and its proposed team exhibited deep knowledge of Princeton’s public schools and community. The firm has extensive experience working with Spiezle, the District’s architect for the referendum projects, and displayed a great deal of experience in working with local and regional contractors and subcontractors.
“EPIC not only exhibited a detailed understanding of the referendum projects but also of our town and of our schools,” stated Superintendent Steve Cochrane. “They expressed how important it would be to place the current referendum in a broader framework that includes possible future projects, so as not to duplicate efforts. They also recognized that the construction will be taking place in residential neighborhoods, and they proactively addressed issues related to parking, traffic, site cleanliness, student safety and impact on learning. They were the only firm to bring two site managers to the interview, both of whom were impressive in their experience and their willingness to communicate regularly with the Board, with our architects and with our building administrators.”
“EPIC impressed members of the facilities and evaluation committees by allowing them to meet the entire proposed team, including individual team members who would be dedicated to cost-estimating, constructability analysis and back-office scheduling," explained Greg Stankiewicz, chair of the Facilities Committee. In addition, committee members were impressed by EPIC’s display of teamwork, a common focus on proactive cost-savings and its ability as a multi-discipline construction services organization to draw upon the construction experiences of other members of the firm.
Moving forward, EPIC will work with the District to provide cost estimates, structure construction bids, and develop detailed construction plans and timetables. EPIC noted the importance of communication and will provide regular updates with photos that will be shared on the District website to keep the Princeton community informed as the projects move forward.