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Wolgast Blog

Construction blog discussing trends, tips, and insider information from a commercial contractor specialized in general construction, design/build, construction management, and insurance restoration.

The Right Mix for Pre-Bond School Election Services

Preparing for a Bond Election is critical to school construction projects because if the election isn’t successful, there is nothing to construct. Therefore, Wolgast has developed Pre-Bond Election Services to set up School Districts for building success.  While we haven’t won them all on the first try, we have maintained a 92% success rate for schools we’ve helped over the past 5 years.

How the Condition of Your Facility Could Attract the Best Successor

Most of us want to retire as soon as we’re ready and able, but business owners have a unique situation of preparing for a successor to take over their operation.  Ideally, they’d have started planning for successorship early so the transition can happen during high times when business and the economy are strong.  This way the owner was able to choose the best candidate and get the anticipated value of the company.  The best successor is one that will take care of employees and clients as well or better than the predecessor did. And the best way to find them is to remove all obstacles to entice a successor who’ll continue the business legacy.

What Should a Business Owner Know before Hiring an Architect or Contractor?

The Jack Miller Group was a former industry network for General Contractors across the United States.  In 1988, Mr. Miller had published a paper called, “Rules You Should Know before You Build Your Important Project”.   He started by stating that there are a few basic questions that business owners should ask themselves as they start to plan a construction project1:

Entering Retail Space as a Non-Retailer

Retail space is becoming attractive to non-retailers as more of it becomes available.  Likely, Business Owners see a build-out as a quick, easy, low cost way to enter or expand in a market due to space already being established with a structure, vast parking, some foot traffic, and necessary amenities.  Just a little remodel and they can be open for business!

Preparing for Michigan Schools’ Safety in 2020

Over the last year, a lot of action has happened to make K-12 schools safer for students in Michigan.  While still in office, Gov. Snyder implemented legislation for a School Safety Task Force.  The Task Force has been meeting to oversee School Districts and their Safety Plans for each of their buildings.  Schools are required to have their plans in place by January 2020.  Also, as part of the Legislation, starting in 2020, new construction and renovation plans for schools have to be shared and consulted with their local law enforcement agency for their evaluation from a safety standpoint.

Your Building Envelope’s Role in Reducing Energy Costs

Keeping your building’s protective barrier, a.k.a. its envelope, intact, leak free, and in good repair is a great way to avoid spending your hard earned profits on energy costs.  The envelope entails any part of your building structure that keeps outside elements from coming inside when closed.  Otherwise, your roof, EIFS, windows, doors, walls, and even floors can leak and make your HVAC work harder, or worse let water leaks damage equipment and causing microbial growth.

Top 7 Guarantees of Using Design/Build Construction Delivery

  1. Fast Track Construction
  2. Less Risk for the Owner
  3. Single Point of Responsibility
  4. Guaranteed Schedule & Budget
  5. Team Collaboration
  6. Quality Construction for Better Value
  7. More Bids Collected by One Entity to Narrow down the Lowest Price

Set Your School to “Snow Day” with the Push of a Button

School Districts waste energy when building systems run while school isn’t in session, and face additional security threats, too.  The good news is that schools are estimated to be able to save considerable energy costs by adding building system controls and sensors for real-time control.  By automating school buildings with sensors and smart controls, the EPA says “schools and school districts can lower their operating costs by up to 30%.  Existing schools can save 25% of operating costs by implementing some basic efficiency measures, occupant education, and engagement programs.”1 Additionally, installing integrating security systems to ensure all doors are locked and surveillance or movement sensors are operating after hours provides peace of mind when no one is in the building.

Four Things You Should Know When Planning a Groundbreaking Ceremony

When building a new business or relocating, it pays to start your publicity early.  An inexpensive way to create buzz is to host a groundbreaking or a “kickoff” ceremony at the beginning of your project.  I’ve had clients who’ve broke ground both before starting a project or soon after a project has started, with construction being the backdrop during the ceremony.  We call it a project “kickoff” instead of “groundbreaking” when we renovate an existing building.

Tips to Pass a School Bond Election

We have found that there’s not a single formula to passing a school bond vote.  Every community is different in regard to their support of their school district, so each campaign needs to be tweaked and managed.  However, Wolgast's School Facility Specialists have discovered a couple of tactics over the years as former School Superintendents on how to give every bond campaign a better chance for success and offer their expertise as part of our Pre-Bond Services.

First, the most important aspect of a success­ful millage election is staff and community involvement in the planning process. With that said, the likelihood of the passage of a millage proposal is determined days and even months prior to the election.  The devel­opment of the bond proposal, the inclusion of groups that will be af­fected by it, along with the marketing plan and execution are all key ingredients that will help lead to a successful election.

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