School Business: Bidding, Construction, and Real Estate
Franczek attorneys offer comprehensive legal services for the operations of school districts and other educational institutions. We provide day-to-day counseling and advice on contracting, bidding, construction, and real estate issues. With decades of experience in state and federal courts and agencies, when litigation is necessary, our attorneys supply judgment, experience and wisdom to develop cost-effective litigation strategies designed to meet the client’s needs.
Few entities are as scrutinized as public school districts when it comes to contracting with vendors for outside services. The bidding requirements of the Illinois School Code create significant obstacles for school districts. Franczek lawyers are able to tap into prior experience to provide timely and accurate analysis and advice to school districts related to bidding issues and preparing legally sound requests for proposals.
Franczek attorneys have also litigated numerous cases involving bidding issues. Our attorneys are well situated to assist school districts if they are forced to litigate and to provide advice to avoid litigation.
Undertaking a significant construction project can be one of the most challenging endeavors that a school district faces. Franczek attorneys assist school districts in every phase of construction. Franczek has a team of lawyers that have negotiated all forms of construction contracts, including all versions of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) documents involving architects, general contractors, and construction managers. Further, Franczek lawyers have dealt with the full range of construction projects, from major campus improvements, to less costly maintenance projects, and projects involving guaranteed energy savings. And if problems arise related to a project, Franczek is accomplished at litigating and arbitrating construction disputes and guiding clients through the legal maze of mechanics’ liens.
General Contract Needs
There probably is not a contract subject matter involving a school district that Franczek has not addressed, reviewed, or negotiated. Every day, school districts and their business offices are expected to deal with an extraordinary range of subject matters to benefit their students. Franczek provides the necessary guidance to assist clients in negotiating and ensuring legal protection under agreements with third parties. We have handled agreements pertaining to daily operations, such as transportation, food service, and copier agreements; to agreements with other governmental agencies, including municipalities, counties, park districts, and the State; to facility use and lease agreements; to agreements involving software, internet services, and even cellular tower agreements. We pride ourselves in providing timely, thorough advice while producing practical documents and processes to best reflect what the school district hopes to accomplish.
Real estate decisions are some of the most significant decisions a school board faces from the standpoint of a district’s financial status to its ability to meet the future needs of its students. The Illinois School Code contains specific requirements for the purchase, sale, and lease of real estate. Franczek attorneys help school districts in all aspects of the property acquisition process – from identifying ownership, to spearheading the negotiations for such projects, through handling the closing of the sale. If a school board determines that a property is no longer necessary, we are also well versed in the bidding and auction process required for the sale of school property. Further, Franczek attorneys have negotiated long term leases on behalf of school districts, whether the school district is leasing a new facility as a tenant or acting as landlord and leasing space to another entity.
Beyond real estate purchase, sale, and leasing, Franczek also handles the more unique real estate challenges. Those challenges may include providing an easement to the Illinois Department of Transportation, seeking an easement to build a necessary utility, appearing before municipal planning commissions and councils to obtain zoning approvals for new school development projects, and representing school districts in complex condemnation cases. Franczek combines its real estate advice and advocacy with an in-depth understanding of the challenges—financial and public scrutiny—facing school districts.