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Schools create new position to monitor building projects

The Board of Education has a position to fill before construction on two new schools and three high school additions can begin.
“We don’t need anyone to build it. We don’t need anyone to design it,” said Superintendent Jim Watson. “We need someone to monitor and supervise it.”
This position will take the place of construction management. The Board of Education plans to hire a construction director before the start of bids on the middle school in later September.
“They need to be there from day one,” said George Dellinger, chairman of the Building and Site Committee.
The construction director would serve as the eyes and ears for the school district. He or she would deal with timelines, budgets and change orders.
“You can never have a project of this magnitude and not have change orders, but change orders are where you’re eaten alive,” said Watson.
Change orders occur when the original plans for the schools are altered. At that time, construction companies can choose to charge more than first anticipated.
Sometimes changes in the design or construction of a school saves the school system money, but often it adds to the cost.
“They charge you on top of what they bid, and that’s when a project gets out of control,” said Watson.
A director of construction would try to control the cost of all the projects covered under the $47 million bond.
Whoever the Board of Education hires will be an at will employee and will not have a contract.
Pay would range from $40,000 to $70,000 depending on the director of construction’s previous experience.
School officials and members of the Board of Education are ready to go forward with the hiring process.
“Let’s get him or her started,” said Tommy Houser, a member of the Board of Education.by Sarah Grano

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