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Construction Problems for Monticello Schools Seem Solved on Wednesday

August 21st, 2014 by

mont schoolsThis report was based on the situation, at Tuesday night, 8 pm, with the school board members were contemplating calling attorneys for legal action.

After reading the top report, be sure to read the final paragraph, it’s was added Thursday morning.

—————–
At their monthly meeting, Tuesday , the Monticello School Board was presented with updates on the various campus construction projects, including significant problems that will delay progress on several building projects, and could potentially cost the District a substantial sum of money.

Superintendent Harper reported he has been advised that the building housing the coaches’ offices and dressing rooms, as currently designed, will not include air conditioning for the dressing rooms or the rest of the building. Under the current plan, there will only be air conditioning for the coaches’ offices.

In addition to dressing rooms without air conditioning, the Technology building did not pass inspection by the Fire Marshall due to the lack of an available fire hydrant within required range of the building site.

The asphalt project for the parking lot has been delayed because the contractor is busy working on other jobs, and may not be started for another month.

And there may be a water drainage problem on the north end of the football field.

Superintendent Harper reported that the slab has been poured for the new Technology building, and framing is ready to proceed, weather permitting. However, after the Fire Marshall’s inspection, he ruled that the building is not in compliance with state-mandated fire codes. This is due to the fact that there is not a fire hydrant near the building site. The building is out of compliance with the current fire hydrant location by about 100 ft. and the building cannot pass inspection until a hydrant is installed within appropriate distance of the structure. The cost of a fire hydrant is estimated to be approximately $40,000.

School Board members were quite concerned about these new developments, and questions were raised about how these problems were able to occur. There was discussion about whether the dressings room air conditioning was included in the specifications for the project. It was the assumption of the Board at the time they voted to approve the project, that the entire building would be air conditioned, not just the coaches’ offices. But without a copy of the job specifications in front of them, there was no immediate way to determine if the oversight was their responsibility, if it was an oversight by the architect, or if the contractor failed to comply with the specs for the job.

The consensus of the School Board members regarding the Technology building was that the location of available fire hydrants in range of the building would probably be the responsibility of the architect, or perhaps the general contractor. The architect has already been paid $25,000 for his work on the project. The Board ordered that construction of the Technology building to be suspended until these issues can be resolved.

A Board member questioned whether the contract for the asphalt work in the parking lot included a time performance requirement stipulating when the work would be done. According to Superintendent Harper, it does. Other members recommended contacting a different company to see if the job can be completed sooner.

Board members discussed past construction projects that resulted in expensive unforeseen problems, including a very costly roof project, and installation of lights that were installed around the track at such a height that it cost $7,000 to bring in equipment to change the light bulbs.

Members called for a better system and accountability to oversee the specifications of contracts for future projects, called for closer scrutiny of architects and contractors, and voted to have the School District’s attorney review the contracts and specifications for the current problem-plagued projects to determine who should be responsible for the costs that will be involved in resolving these issues.

On a positive note, Mr. Harper reported that the turf installation at the football field is almost completed. Rubber is being put down now. He wants to install a sidewalk on the north side of the field along the fence from the visitors’ side to the home side, and fill in with landscaping to make it more attractive. Water drainage issues would be addressed when the sidewalks and landscaping work is done. He also wants to do concrete work and install a pad in front of the concession stand, and install a sidewalk on the south side of the field from the stands to the gate at the southeast corner.

A bid to Monticello Aluminum for $12,000 was approved by the Board to complete the canopy walkway at the front of the elementary school.

———————-
As a follow-up to Tuesday’s meeting, Wednesday morning, Superintendent Harper received an e-mail from the project’s engineer, documenting that all of the described problems would be resolved to the board’s satisfaction.

The email went on to further state that these corrections would provide no additional expense to the school district.

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