Streetsboro school leaders react to hiring of construction manager

by mike lesko | Reporter Published:

Streetsboro -- One of the elements Hammond Construction's presentation to the School Board emphasized was communication, and school leaders told the company during a May 8 meeting they want to make sure it makes every effort to share information with the School Board, administration and public during school construction.

School Board President Andrew Lesak said he heard the following quote at a recent presentation at Kent State University: "If you're not being told you're communicating too much, you're not communicating enough."

"So that's the goal," Lesak said. "That's what I want to do. I want to make sure people are saying, 'OK. I get it. Stop.' That's when I'll know we're doing it enough."

School Board member Kevin Grimm said communicating with the public is important, adding, "[For example], at some point, maybe our parking lots aren't going to be available for different events, and [the residents] need to know why. They need to know what you're going to be doing, and that it may not be safe for people to be there at certain times."

School Board Vice President Brian Violi agreed, saying, "Your company [previously] emphasized, 'How much communication do you want? When do you want it? Where do you want it?'

"We want your input," Violi added. "I believe you'll deliver that."

Superintendent Michael Daulbaugh said Hammond has a communications person who will oversee the company's communication with the School Board, administrators and the public.

"To actually have somebody on staff who will relieve that burden from the district in order to make that happen [is tremendous]," Daulbaugh said. "That was one of the big [moments of relief] when we were listening to [Hammond's job] presentation. [That Hammond employee] spoke about some of the things she's done in other districts. We were thinking, that's something we have to have because [Hammond has] said that all along, 'Communication [is essential].'"

Lesak said the schools' upcoming construction project "is a game-changer -- not only for our district, but also for our community."

"I can't over-emphasize the importance of it to the students, staff, administration and community," he said at the May 8 Streetsboro Board of Education meeting, talking to Hammond Construction Co. leaders, who were picked as construction manager at risk for the schools' upgrading process. "Your involvement is going to be key. So my expectations are extremely high."

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