School Board Chairperson Robina Bouffault’s alternate school fire flow proposal evaporated last night in a manner similar to many of Clarke County’s spring thunderstorms; it appeared out of nowhere, contained lots of thunder, but never produced any water.
Last night the Town of Berryville rejected both the alternate fire flow proposal as well as the School Board’s attempt to have the respective legal teams work out a compromise agreement. Instead, the Town responded with a revised cost sharing agreement reiterating its support for the PHR&A fire flow design. Assistant Town Manager, Christy Dunkle also provided a detailed list of items that still must be addressed by the School Board prior to release of the final site plan. The Town’s list of four items still outstanding from the October 2009 Conditions for Special Use Permit include a final site plan revision, easement specifications, site lighting plan, and the fire flow plan.
Jon Erikson, consulting engineer from Urban, told the School Board that all comments received by Chester Engineering, the Town of Berryville’s firm, had been incorporated into the final site plan and would be delivered to the Town by today [Thursday, May 6, 2010]. However, Virginia Department of Transportation’s final comments have yet to be received and there was some uncertainty among the engineering and school staff about when VDOT’s comments are actually due. Final agreement from VDOT is particularly important for finalization of the easements for the project. “The easement plat can only be completed once all comments have been received. If VDOT does make comments the easement plat will have to be revised.” Erikson said.
While the lighting plan requirement was not discussed last night, the School Board did appear to finally accept the Town’s PHR&A fire flow proposal as a necessary step for meeting the May 11th target for issuing the school construction request for proposals. The School Board spent a portion of last night’s meeting fine tuning the wording contained in a draft Utility Construction and Cost Sharing Agreement delivered yesterday [Wednesday, May 5, 2010] 2010 by Berryville Town Manager Keith Dalton.
In an effort to resolve the differences between the Town and the School Board over adoption of the PHR&A solution, Town Manager, Keith Dalton contacted several School Board members independently according to School Board member Jennifer Welliver (Berryville). School Board member Emily Rhodes (Buckmarsh) also referred to a call that she had received about fire flow differences while nodding in the direction of Town Manager Keith Dalton and Assistant Town Manager Christy Dunkle both present in the audience last night.
“Keith Dalton and Christy Dunkle really worked hard behind the scenes to help get this solved,” according to Welliver.
Although several of the School Board’s members seemed pleased at the apparent resolution of the issue, School Board Chairman Bouffault expressed less enthusiasm about the outcome, “We’ve chosen to move the issue forward even though it’s costing us money. This is not the best decision for the school budget but we’re keeping our eye on the ball which is getting the school built.”
The School Board expects to have final agreement on Dalton’s Utility Construction and Cost Sharing Agreement by Monday in time for consideration by the Town Council at its next meeting.
Other Construction Business
Clarke County’s Stones
Clarke County has a lot of rock, so much rock that construction contracts typically itemize the rock removal as either “classified” (the contract gives the bidder exact estimates of the type and quantity of rock to be removed) or “unclassified” (the bidder has full responsibility for determining the cost of excavating the construction site.) The Clarke County School site estimate includes 8,000 cubic yards of rock removal for the building’s foundation with another 2,000 cubic yards necessary for trenches. The School Board decided last night to keep its contractual rock removal “unclassified”.
If your firm is selected to build Clarke County’s new high school be forewarned that failure to finish the building on time comes with a cost. Based on school operating cost estimates, the new school contract will penalize the builder $2K per day for move-in delays once the school is “substantially” finished and $500 per day for final completion delays once the building is occupied. The School Board did not specify any monetary penalties for delays (past or future) caused by the governmental committees of Clarke County.
Jury trials are expensive according to School Board land use attorney, Joe Luchini. Based on Luchini’s advice, the School Board’s bid documents will require any contractor disputes resulting in involvement from the court system to be decided by a judge only.
100% Construction Documents
Crabtree-Rohrbaugh says that the construction documents are ready to go. School staff is working on the final details of room numbering and naming.
Final Bid Document Review
The School Board is planning a special meeting on Monday, May 10th to review the bid documents prior to issuance. Tentative time and place: 2:30pm, Government Center.