Following two previous attempts at passing a local school bond initiative, the Lolo School District No. 7 was successful in late 2020 in gaining voter approval to construct a new $17.5M K-8 school and multi-use campus. The District houses K-8 students in various facilities, including modular buildings and part of Lolo’s original schoolhouse constructed in the early 1920s. With schematic design underway by lead Designer A&E Architects, the Lolo School District procured the $17.5M Alternative Delivery project using the Construction Manager / General Contractor (CMGC) methodology. The 3-step procurement included an initial Request for Qualifications with shortlisted firms invited to submit a second Technical Proposal and Preconstruction Services Fee and participate in a scored, 60-minute CMGC interview. The procurement schedule was accelerated by the District to ensure a CMGC contractor was onboarded quickly and preconstruction services completed in 2021.
This project was the third pursuit managed by Mission Critical for Dick Anderson Construction (DAC) and followed our MDT Quartz Flats Rest Area project win in 2020.
To develop the Statement of Qualifications, Mission Critical collaborated with DAC’s business development and project management teams to define the company’s differentiating position in the marketplace. Mission Critical’s writing group carried these elements into rapid development of technical and narrative content that accurately illustrated DAC’s qualifications as a Montana CMGC partner and regional leader in school facilities construction. In parallel, Mission Critical’s design group developed page-by-page layouts to ensure easy translation and readability of the document by the MDT review committee. DAC reviewers and Mission Critical’s internal copyediting and proofing teams worked hand-in-hand to expedite review cycles to meet the submission deadline. Mission Critical’s production team maintained the chain of custody for the proposal through the printing process, turning over the completed document to DAC for submittal.
Within days of the submission of the Statement of Qualifications, the District announced the shortlist. Surprisingly, nine firms were invited to submit both Technical and Preconstruction Services Fee Proposals. In another challenging twist, the Technical and Fee Proposals were due within 14 days of the shortlist announcement.
Mission Critical lost no time and immediately began the development of the Technical Proposal document. To manage travel restrictions due to COVID-19, our team held content development meetings using video conferencing while sharing files and resources through Mission Critical’s online client portal. This approach allowed us to detail critical approaches to construction, classify potential risks and mitigations, and identify opportunities to innovate delivery. Still, it was a significant challenge to clearly represent these essential ideas and approaches in a document restricted to 20 total pages.
As the writing team developed content, Mission Critical’s design group was busy creating technical illustrations to eliminate text-heavy explanations. This effort was crucial for translating the jointly developed technical approach into the highest-ranked Technical Proposal, placing the team well above the other eight competitors. Mission Critical then supported the DAC team in multi-day, remotely facilitated interview preparation, including delivery coaching, narrative development, and graphic/presentation support.
Mission Critical’s writing group successfully framed and narrated the firm’s CMGC experience and the expertise of the proposed key personnel in delivering similar K-8 facilities work. Our design group optimized page space, preserved readability, and created an engaging and technically accurate document. Mission Critical’s expertise in pursuit management and personnel capacity was vital to DAC’s shortlist and No. 1 ranking for the Qualifications, Technical Proposal, and interview stages.