Mark Taylor

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Following a brief discussion on the legality of hiring a construction manager without taking bids, the Gardner Edgerton School Board adopted a resolution to put a $72.790 million bond issue on a 2012 ballot.

Patron Bill Sutton, Gardner, expressed concern about the board’s hiring of Manning Construction to oversee the bond projects without first soliciting bids from other companies.

Superintendent Bill Gilhaus told Sutton that state statute does not require competitive bids for “services” like construction managers.

He said the district instead compared fees with what other districts paid for construction managers in recent months and negotiated a fee with Manning on the “low end” of the spectrum.

The board approved a 5.3 construction management fee with Manning compared with an average 6.5 percent fee paid by other districts for construction management services.