The Board of Trustees at White Oak ISD met at 6 pm Monday, March 26,2018. Members in attendance to establish a quorum were David Carr, Eric Swanson, Dr. David Ummel and Colonel Randall Smith. The posted agenda for the meeting contained two action items to be considered by the members.
- The board took action to approve the payment of $490,255.03 to the district’s Construction Manger, Jackson Construction. It is the second payment for services and work completed and in progress to date. The motion to approve the payment was made by Eric Swanson and seconded by David Ummel. The motion was approved by a vote of four in favor, zero opposed and three members not present.
- The board also took action to approve Jackson Construction’s presentation for the Guaranteed Maximum Price for the work to be done at the Primary/Intermediate Campus. The motion to approve the GMP of $1,694,560 (presented as option 2) was made by Colonel Randall Smith, seconded by David Ummel. The motion was approved by a vote of four in favor, zero opposed and three not present. Option two includes the completion of all roof replacement work and the installation of all new HVAC Air Handlers. The plan also calls for the use of materials to mitigate the water leaks around the windows until they can be permanently repaired in the summer of 2019.
Discussion concerning the GMP for the Primary/Intermediate included two options for the members of the board to consider. Option 1 included additional scope of work to include the removal of all the insulated siding (walls) and replacing that siding with a new metal stud wall construction including new metal paneling and windows. The need for the replacement of the paneling was determined after the bond election had been approved.
Option 1 was not selected by the board or recommended by Superintendent Michael Gilbert due to the extra cost ($1.1 million) and lack of time to complete the work before the start of the 2018/2019 school year. Here are the talking points discussed before the vote on a GMP:
- The inclusion of the wall and window project cannot be completed before the start of next school year. Delaying the start of school and/or trying to complete construction with students in the building is not safe.
- Postponing the replacement of the panels and windows will allow Huckabee, Jackson and the district time to fully research the best long term solution to the water intrusion problem and will give an appropriate amount of time to complete the work without disrupting the instructional day.
- Approval of Option 2 will not put the district in a position to go over the budget for the total project. The targeted construction budget was set at $13,167,643. This is the money to be spent directly on the projects listed on the bond proposal. With Option 2 in place, the construction budget is set at $13,862,643. That is $695,000 (11.4%) above the target budget but well within the overall budget of the project including contingency funds that are in place for the contractor and the district. This scope of work will not cause the district to use general fund balance dollars to complete the project.
- All projects approved by the voters of White Oak ISD will be completed and will be within the scope of the $19,005,000 budget. With the approval of Option 2 at the Primary/Intermediate campus, all projects (district wide) will be complete by the end of August 2018 with the exception of the window replacement. That project will be completed in the summer of 2019 due to time constraints and additional scope that needs to be fully researched. Replacing the windows without addressing the failing panels would be extremely irresponsible and not in the best interest of the taxpayers.
I hope this information is helpful in clearing up any confusion in the community. Unfortunately, inaccurate information has been released that is at best, misleading and intentionally deceiving at worst. The district has been completely transparent in our efforts to communicate accurate information.
Any attempts to report that the board is not going to complete projects due to going over budget in another area of the bond project is false and should not be taken seriously. The Board of Trustees and I have worked for many years to build and maintain a level of public trust in our efforts to make the best decisions possible to provide a safe, relevant and challenging educational experience for all the students. It is our hope that you can see that level of commitment and support the efforts of this leadership team.