Estes Construction
The Iowa Construction Advocate Team (ICAT) is an affiliate program of the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) and Estes Construction.
The team provides construction expertise and guidance as a benefit to IASB members. ICAT services include referendum support, facility assessments, master planning assistance and construction. IASB member districts receive a reduced fee to help districts stretch available funds.
Leverage IASB member benefits by utilizing the services of ICAT for a construction project. IASB members have received over $4.7 million in savings using ICAT services for new construction, renovations and additions. The savings to each district is of significant value to taxpayers.
The facility assessment is a critical first step to understanding the condition of your existing buildings. A comprehensive field investigation of facilities identifies both physical needs and functional needs. The findings are used to create time and cost scenarios for renovating, demolishing and rebuilding on your existing site or building a school on a new property. Operational costs over the life of the building are provided for each option, and current and future space needs factor into the choices. Districts benefit from this impartial evaluation that serves as a starting point for further discussion or action.
“Estes assisted our district in short-term and long-range facilities planning efforts. A team from Estes spent a week in our district studying our facilities and helping us put together a realistic look at our district needs in the near future as well as twenty-year projections. Estes was a critical partner for us in this work that has become the cornerstone of our facilities vision, budget and planning for our school district.”
Dr. Tony Aylsworth, Superintendent
Pleasantville Community School District
As Iowa’s leading K-12 school builder, Estes Construction shares its experience helping districts locate, qualify and select an architect. The service is turn-key and starts with the ICAT representative asking your district about design needs and expectations. ICAT uses this information to distribute an RFP, rank the qualified respondents for interviews and moderate the post-interview discussion with you.
“We contacted Estes for advice regarding a design team issue we were experiencing. With the assistance of ICAT, we have moved forward with selecting a new architectural firm and are creating a district-wide master plan. They have made the transition from needing help to keeping the process in motion seamlessly. I relied on ICAT and its expertise to represent the district. Their communication skills are unmatched. They always inform me of the next steps or updates in a timely manner. I cannot express the gratitude we have for their support.”
Autumn Pino, Superintendent
Springville Community School District
ICAT works with your district to understand funding sources and capacity. Your district’s bond referendum passage experience is examined to uncover any obstacles that may need to be overcome to secure community support. A fiscally capable plan is developed that meets current and future needs.
“I use the ICAT program as a resource. The district engaged with ICAT to help us with a facilities assessment, identify a design partner, our master plan, and bond referendum support. While we utilized the ICAT team for mechanical upgrades, I realized we needed some assistance due to our business manager leaving, and I did not have a complete understanding of ESSER-funded projects. ICAT helped design a scope of work for our projects, which they’ll evaluate closer to when the projects start. Along with our upcoming project, they are helping with our athletic facilities and a primary school playground installation. They are amazing when it comes to clear communication because when I call, they always answer, plain and simple.”
Will Engelbrecht, Facilities Director
Center Point-Urbana Community School District
Estes has a detailed approach to master planning that gives districts a road map to follow. With strategic objectives defined, facility assessments completed and a budget plan, your district is ready to seek community input and support to create a vision for the future. The plan addresses facilities equity across your district and improves educational adequacy.
“ICAT understands rural school districts’ needs and are dedicated advocates for identifying priorities and needs in order to complete a project. With this knowledge, I utilized the ICAT program for two different Iowa school districts. We experienced a derecho that caused major damage throughout Iowa. The day after the storm, I called Estes, and they were there the same day. They represented the district in the initial walkthrough with our insurance and made recommendations in the best interest of East Marshall. Estes Construction and their ICAT team have assisted us with an assessment of facilities, architecture selection and are currently in the process of master planning for the next 15 years.”
Tony Ryan, Superintendent
East Marshall Community School District
A master plan may guide your district for many years and can be divided into phases to create cost savings and take advantage of school breaks for greater efficiency and less disruption to daily instruction. The phasing plan is a valuable communication tool to keep staff and parents informed about changes during construction.
“With help from ICAT, our district conducted community meetings and used that feedback to put a survey out to the community. I appreciated the partnership when we needed to begin winnowing down the project list. There were a lot of great ideas out there, but each one came with a price tag. Working with the architect and us, Estes got the proposed project down to the type of project we thought would be acceptable to the voters. Having a bond referendum in the middle of a pandemic with over 70% of the voters supporting it was a powerful statement. It was a win-win all around from my perspective.”
Dr. Tom Parker, Superintendent
Camanche Community School District
ICAT uses a methodical and proven approach to help a referendum gain support, starting with a select group and adding stakeholders to perpetuate positive momentum. A preliminary budget and timeline are developed and shared as part of a community listening and discussion meeting. The community has an opportunity to ask questions, understand their tax impact and learn about the benefits to students and the community.
Iowa K-12 Projects
“We are proud to partner with Estes on our district facilities improvements. The work we are doing at our high school and K-8 buildings will improve security, collaborative space, classrooms and extra-curricular space for students of all ages. Students, staff and our community will all be positively impacted for many years once this project is complete.”
Dr. Andy Crozier
Central Lee Community School District