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Walls Go Up on New Duncombe School - from The Messenger

October 11, 2016


The new Duncombe Elementary School is starting to take shape at 615 N. 16th St.

"It has been a great week if you have been driving by the site," said Keith Kolacia, construction manager for Kolacia Construction. "It has been the most telling week of progress."

Kolacia provided an update on the project Monday during the Fort Dodge Community School District board meeting.

"Within the last seven days we have gone from having no steel, no precast - just complete flat ground - to now having 100 percent of the precast gym walls up and having almost 50 percent of the steel in area B up."

Area B is a two-story pod that encompasses the space to be used for third- and fourth-graders.

The new building will be two stories high and is designed to house up to 450 students.

"As you drive down Sixth and Seventh avenues north, the school is really starting to show some identity now," he said.

Kolacia Construction Inc., of Fort Dodge, is overseeing the project. It was hired as the construction management firm.

Kolacia praised the teamwork among contractors working on the project.

"I am going to do something I don't do all the time," he said. "I am going to praise my competition. I think Jensen and Woodruff have really stepped up to the plate here."

Woodruff Construction LLC, of Fort Dodge, is building the 65,342-square-foot school. It was hired in August after submitting a low bid of $10,937,700 for the project.

Jensen Builders Ltd., of Fort Dodge, is doing the footings and foundation work.

"They all have really bought into the partnering and the team spirit to try and work and get this thing going," Kolacia said. "Everyone has looked for ways to stay busy, where they can go and everyone has been helping each other out."

"If it's something where they can't get equipment in, Jensen has a crane and will swing something over," he added.

Kolacia said they are slightly ahead of schedule.

"With precast where it is now, we are about three-and-a-half weeks ahead of schedule," he said. "The footings and foundations is finishing ahead of schedule. The steel, right now, is right on schedule."

The weather will be the biggest factor in staying on schedule.

"The rain, the cooler weather - if we get an early freeze or frost it could really set us back," he said. "We are hoping for a dry stretch."

"From a managing standpoint, things look really good, but we are in the most critical point of the schedule as to how much success we are going to have," he said.

The anticipated completion of the project is December 2017. Students are to move to the new school after winter break.

"It has been trying times, but has been a pleasure so far to see everyone on the same page and working towards the common goal," he said.

"Walls go up on new Duncombe School" The Messenger 11 Oct 2016: A1

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