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Union North United School Board Approves Change Orders

January 14, 2011

01/17/11  Union North United School Board patron, Everett Garrett voiced his concerns over change orders being considered for the renovation work in progress at the LaVille Jr.-Sr. High School. Garrett said, “Change orders are one of the most dangerous things you can run into in a construction project” He went on to say that the board approved a project of $1.995 million knowing that the amount was not enough and could come back with change orders.

He added, “I think this construction thing is getting out of hand.” “We’ve already been taken once. Let’s not let it happen again.”

Superintendent Barker refuted Garrett’s concerns saying, “We will not go over $1.995 million.” He said they would be doing a walk-through with contractors on Friday (1/14) and the only thing left would be punch list items. Barker said, “The project is still going to be within the framework.”

Some of the change orders concerned electricity relocation in the long distance learning lab, a sound system in the media center, carpet in the media center and add-on HVAC. The HVAC was added after contractors found the one ventilation system in the long distance learning classroom beyond repair and the other working at about half capacity. Barker said they needed both heating and cooling with the computers in the classroom.

Barker said the changes on the entire project would be at a cost of $30,945 and that $50,000 was built into the project as a change order allowance.

The board approved the change orders unanimously.

Garrett also shared his opinion on an agenda item for an additional appropriation that was listed for a public hearing. Barker explained that an appropriation does not mean any new tax dollars. Barker did note that the language in the pubic advertising for the $950,000 appropriation for work at the elementary building was written in what he termed “legalese”. He said, “It is kind of misleading and creates confusion.” He added, “No body is pulling a fast one.”

The item had been advertised last September. Barker said, “For whatever reason, it fell through the cracks.”

Barker said the appropriation was only getting permission to spend money that was already received.

The board passed the request unanimously.

Carol Anders Correspondent

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