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Construction managers up for vote

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KYTX (FROM THE TYLER PAPER) - Tyler Junior College is expected to take the next step toward bond-related construction today.

The board of trustees is scheduled to vote on hiring Tyler-based HGR General Contractors and Dallas-based Turner Construction Co. as joint construction manager at risk for the nursing and health sciences building on the main campus.

The contract is expected to cost TJC $1.8 million, though that amount will change when the project's guaranteed maximum price is determined, campus services director Mike Caruso wrote in an email.

TJC voters in May approved a $25 million bond package to partially fund this project.

Student fees and private donations will fund the remaining $25 million.

As construction manager at risk, the companies are responsible for the overall planning, coordination and control of the project, Caruso wrote.

They will oversee it from start to finish and ensure the building meets the college's standards in terms of structure and budget.

The companies also will work closely with Smith GroupJJR, the company hired as the lead architectural firm, Caruso wrote.

TJC spokesman Fred Peters said the work toward starting construction will move faster once the construction manager at risk is hired.

The college initially planned for a fall 2014 opening, but officials now are eyeing spring 2015, Peters said.

In other business, the board is scheduled to vote on a new learning management system that will provide students and faculty a secure web-based software to access online course contents.

The new system, Instructure Inc., will cost $618,000 over five years with the money coming from the college's technology fund.

The college's current system is Blackboard, but faculty was dissatisfied with the program's capabilities, Peters said.

Through a negotiation with Blackboard, the college saved $70,000 on its existing contract, which will expire next fall.

The college will run the new and old systems concurrently until then, Peters said.

The meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. today in the White Administrative Services Center Board Room on the TJC campus, 1500 E. Fifth St.

A 10 a.m. board workshop in the Board Conference Room will precede the meeting. Both are open to the public.

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