Glad You Asked: Hanson School District
Q: Has the Hanson School District hired the same firm to serve as both its architect and contractor, which would violate state law, to work on its $2.6 million middle and high school expansion?...
Q: Has the Hanson School District hired the same firm to serve as both its architect and contractor, which would violate state law, to work on its $2.6 million middle and high school expansion?
A: According to Hanson School District Superintendent Jim Bridge, the school has not yet hired a contractor to build the nine classroom-addition approved in December.
South Dakota Codified Law 5-18B-5 states that an architect or engineer cannot simultaneously serve as a contractor on any public improvement project exceeding $100,000 unless it is of an emergency nature affecting the public health and safety of the state. As contractor bids for the project have not been received, the school is not in violation of SDCL 5-18B-5.
"We've had it gone over with a fine tooth comb," Bridge said about the agreement between the district and the architect, Mitchell-based Puetz Corp.
Bridge said Puetz Corp. will serve as the architect while conducting at-risk management services, which a South Dakota Supreme Court case involving Puetz Corp. said are meant to streamline the construction process and avoid cost overruns and delays.
Puetz Corporation's work for a different district also led to legal questions from the public.
The project currently in question in Hanson County will expand the existing school structure to house the growing student body, which has grown by 125 students since 2005. The new classrooms will be used for middle and high school English, math and science. It is expected to be ready for use by fall 2017.