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TAC Member Questions Answered by Asst. Superintendent

June 30, 2011

07/01/11 Plymouth School Administrators, Superintendent Daniel Tyree and Assistant Superintendent Rodger Smith, and Maintenance Director, Dave Schoof, presented an overview of the roofing projects for the school corporation’s buildings at a TAC (Tax Awareness Committee) meeting on Thursday night.

Smith began by giving an overview of the process they used to determine the needs. He said, “In the summer of 2009, the three schools (Plymouth High School, Lincoln Junior High and Jefferson Elementary) were assessed though a process of taking core samples and thermal scans to locate wet spots. This evaluation helped to identify the state of the roofing facilities and was later used to help project costs for potential projects.”

Funding for the projects, in part, has come from a little or no interest QSCB (Qualified School Construction Bond) in the amount of $4,175,000 and $30,000 being taken from the corporation’s Capital Project Fund. Smith said the QSCB is over an eleven-year period. He said, “There is no impact whatsoever on the tax rate for nine years.”

There are fees of $1,500 paid two times each year to those institutions administrating the bond.

According to Smith, they secured a registered architect to develop the detailed drawings, specifications and necessary documentation for roofing projects. He said, “The architect came up with an open specification that identified seven companies with approved products. Others could be submitted for review by the architect.”

The lowest quote for specific materials was received from Tremco Roofing. Eventually however, they were able to purchase the material from Tremco at a 13 percent additional discount from the low quote using GSA (General Services Administration) pricing lists.

Because each of the buildings required different types of applications, each was treated as a separate project. After review of the bids from Babilla Roofing, Gluth Bros. Roofing, Lawmasters Roofing, Midland Engineering, and Slatile Roofing, the project was awarded to Lawmasters Roofing for a combined total of $1,930,000.

Each of the projects came in under $150,000 allowing the use of quotes rather than a bidding process under Indiana statute.

Citing what he believes is the bad reputation of the company used, TAC President Tom Flynn remarked, “I think the part of this that smells is Tremco.” Several weeks ago, TAC heard a presentation from Diana Vice who shared her negative experiences with Tremco in her school district near Indianapolis.

Speaking to Smith, Starr said, “You sound like a salesman for Tremco.” Smith replied saying, “I’m a salesman for you (taxpayers).”  Smith said the way that Tremco uses the materials lets them get 50 percent more done those other methods, thus lowering labor costs.

Schoof said, “Inspect what you expect. I was up on the roof when they did the core samples.”

Audience member Larry Starr questioned paying $60,000 to Tremco for construction supervision. However, Schoof defended using the Tremco employee saying, “Project supervision is a key component. Having a person representing the company providing the warranty is good.”

At the end of the meeting, Starr said, “I’m not attacking them tonight-just had some questions.” He then thanked the panel for providing information on the projects and speaking with both he and his wife Dorothy.

The tentative completion date for the roofing projects had been set at August 17, 2011.

Closing remarks made by Tyree explained the school’s need to control spending wherever possible. Tyree said, “We’ve been cut drastically. It’s my job to provide the same services.” According to Tyree, the savings this year through various means came in at approximately $1.4 million plus receiving some $300,000 in grants. He said, “In July, we are going to celebrate our gas and eclectic savings for the year-$400,000.” He said they have quoted out small projects that they did not have to, switched IP phone service provider, and adopted new hiring practices. By bidding out insurance costs, they have saved $60,000.

“Our teachers have been very good about freezing salaries.” said Tyree. Teachers were given a one percent increase last year, but returned the raise after reimbursements from the state were cut.

Tyree ended his thoughts to TAC members and guests saying, “Encourage us, question us, and support us when you can.”

Carol Anders Correspondent