Learning Commons at UNL

How to Choose the Right Company for Your Next Education Construction Project

You’ve officially decided to take the leap and start a construction project at your school. While it may have taken many steps to get here, the most difficult decision is deciding on a firm to lead this important project. With multiple options and what can seem like endless opportunities, how do you narrow it down to one? This is one of the most important projects your school will undertake, so you need to ensure you’re partnering with a firm that understands your goals, has a vast arsenal of expertise and knowledge, the appropriate technology and overall someone who you can trust to take the project from the blueprints to the ribbon cutting. We’ve put together the most important questions you should be asking yourself before you officially partner with a firm on your next project.

Does the firm have relevant experience?
Most construction companies have specific areas of focus, so make sure you know ahead of time if they’ve done work on education spaces, specifically your type of school. When you interview companies, ask for examples, before and afters and referrals. While it may seem like all school construction projects are the same, there’s a dramatic difference in building higher education and K-12 schools. Sampson Construction specializes in both higher education and K-12, we’ve been building both for decades and understand the best practices of constructing each. We know that education buildings are more than classrooms; they are dynamic teaching, learning and living environments that need to meet the needs of faculty and students for years to come.       

What’s its process?
Before any papers are signed and concrete is poured, make sure you know the firm’s process. Do they have a detailed step by step plan that goes from start to finish? Or do things seem unorganized and chaotic? If things seem confusing and messy before the project even begins, chances are that’ll carry over throughout the entire project. Ask about components such as managing a schedule, controlling the budget and delivering on time. Sampson Construction knows that transparency is an expectation. It’s essential to build trust and build results. So we lay out our plan from beginning to end with every detail. We know that open, honest communication allows for continuous collaboration and clear expectations every step of the way. 

Does it have the right tools to complete the project? 
Technology is one of the most important aspects of any education construction project. If it doesn’t have the necessary machines, equipment or software, how is the project going to get done? What about the latest technology to keep your team in the loop? You’ll want to stay in the know of the progress happening almost daily, how is the project manager going to communicate with you? Sampson Construction is dedicated to utilizing technologies to improve communication, collaboration and job coordination. This includes plan viewing, mobile quality/safety checklists, Building Information Modeling (BIM), Virtual Design & Construction (VDC), Autodesk, Revit, Navisworks, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS - Drone video/photography) and more.

How long has the company been around?
Company history is another factor you should consider for your next education project. Has the company been around long enough to see the changes in the market? Keep in mind what are the company’s plans for the future. If you want to remodel or renovate in the years to come, will they be around to help? Do some research on the companies retention rate. You’ll be working with a project manager and want to work with the same individual throughout the entire project and develop a close relationship instead of switching PM’s every other month. Both history and longevity are at the core of Sampson Construction. We’ve been building schools for over 65 years, so we’ve seen the industry change and evolve and know what it takes to accommodate for those changes. 

Does the firm keep safety top of mind?
It’s a known fact that construction comes with risk. So how is the firm planning on keeping your students, faculty and staff safe? If construction goes into the school year, what’s going to be done to keep the noise down and ensure students aren’t distracted? What about its construction workers? Is there any history of accidents, and if so, how did the company handle it? Sampson Construction’s highly-revered, comprehensive safety program has earned numerous safety awards. More importantly, it has given us a track record of safety with an EMR well below the national average. Our care is not only for the structures but also for our on-site construction team, visitors and end-users. The bottom line is safety is our number one priority for your education construction project.  

Partnering with a firm for your education construction doesn’t have to be as daunting as it seems when you ask yourself these key questions. Learn about the firm's experience with your type of school, get an in-depth description of its process, ask about the details of its technology, understand the history and longevity of the company and make sure you know its safety precautions. Once you know these critical answers, narrowing down your selection will be more simple, and you’ll be able to pick the right company to be your collaborative partner.   

About Sampson Construction: Sampson Construction has served as a trusted partner with business owners, developers and communities across the country. Projects may vary in size, scope, budget and complexity, but our values and passion inspire every project we deliver. We serve a variety of markets and have the expertise and flexibility to complete projects anywhere in the country. For more information, visit www.sampson-construction.com.

Exceeding Expectations

At Sampson Construction, our in-house team of experts help drive mentoring and high performance. This extraordinary level of teamwork and pride spans generations. Our clients feel the impact at the jobsite throughout every stage of the project. Our culture is driven by quality, experience and commitment.