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story.lead_photo.caption Helen Wilbers/FULTON SUNCory Bextermueller (foreground) of Navigate Building Solutions walks the South Callaway Board of Education through a recent roofing project. NBS and South Callaway worked together to cut the price of the project by around 60 percent.

MOKANE, Mo. — The South Callaway R-2 School District saved nearly $100,000 on a recent roof project, thanks to a new business partnership.

The district initially bid out the project — which involved re-roofing part of the high school and the football field's press box — in April, receiving a low bid of around $148,000. That amount seemed high to Superintendent Kevin Hillman.

"My issue has always been when we get into the technical details," he said, explaining that it can be hard for someone without a background in construction to judge what prices are reasonable for materials. "We were looking for someone we can trust to point out if the bid spec is off."

Hillman suspected the district has overpaid for other recent projects. That's why he got into contact with Navigate Building Solutions, a project management consulting firm. Senior Project Manager Cory Bextermueller spoke with South Callaway's Board of Education last Wednesday.

NBS works with clients to find savings by cutting out middlemen, sourcing alternative materials and more.

"All the contracts are still with the district, but Navigate is procuring and managing them," Bextermueller said.

After bringing on NBS, the district rebid the project in June. The bid it ended up accepting was just $54,213, a full two-thirds less than the initial estimate. Work began July 13 and wrapped up late last week.

"It doesn't always go down by 60 percent," Bextermueller admitted.

With the saved money, the district will be able to make some alterations to its HVAC system, centering around the superintendent's office and a data center at the high school, Hillman said.

In the future, the district may work with NBS on a major tuck-pointing project. That project has been delayed from this year to next due to budget cuts necessitated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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