SD2 moves into next phase of facilities management

2014-03-28T00:00:00Z SD2 moves into next phase of facilities managementBy ROB ROGERS rrogers@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

As School District 2 gears up to launch nearly 60 maintenance projects this summer, district officials have restructured its facilities management team to handle the load.

The projects are part of the $122 million bond that voters passed in November. 

Lew Anderson, who had been SD2's facilities director for the past three years, last month became the bond project manager, a new position created by the district and approved by the school board. The funds for Anderson's job come from the bond.

As bond project manager, Anderson will be responsible for making sure all the projects are bid out properly and that they stay on target and are completed correctly.

"My job is to supervise the expenditure of the $122 million and manage all the projects involved," Anderson said.

It's a tall order. This summer alone, work begins on 56 deferred-maintenance projects at SD2 elementary schools, construction starts on the McKinley and Broadwater renovations and design work for SD2's new middle school in the Heights will be at full steam. 

Through it all, Anderson will watch closely how the projects are scheduled to make sure local contractors have a fair shot at making a bid for the work. The district wants to keep as much of the work as it can with local companies. 

"We promised voters," he said. 

Earlier this month, SD2 hired Scott Reiter to take Anderson's old spot as facilities director. 

For the past 10 years, Reiter worked as facilities director for the Laurel School District and its five school buildings. Moving east to SD2, he now oversees the maintenance of more than 30 buildings. 

"It was time for more challenges and I think this will offer that," Reiter said. 

He praised Anderson and the job he's done for the district and hopes to keep moving in that direction. He also said by coming from outside SD2, he brings with him a new pair of eyes, allowing him to see things in a new way and bring new solutions to old problems. 

He hopes that's what will happen in Laurel when his replacement is hired there. 

"Change is good," he said. 

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