A local contractor was hired to oversee construction at the new high school last week at a special-called school board meeting.
M&J Construction was awarded a $91,800 contract to serve as a resident observer on the construction site.
The contract is for 18 months, at a minimum of six hours a day.
The contract didn’t come without some re-negotiation.
The original bid submitted by M&J was for $78,500, but only allowed for two to six hours a day for on-site monitoring.
Robin Cochran, superintendent of Washington County public schools, said the school board was looking for someone on-site at least 30 hours per week.
The new bid for $91,800 included at least six hours a day from M&J.
After interviewing candidates on July 2, the board narrowed the choice down to M&J and Codell out of Winchester.
Codell’s final proposal was for $144,000 over six months, but included eight hours a day of on-site observation.
In the end, the difference was still around $25,000 between the bidders, according to Patsy Lester, school board chairperson.
According to Lester, a daily report will be sent to Cochran about the progress of construction, which will then be sent to the school board.
The resident observer, according to Lester, will make sure that the builders are adhering to the contract when it comes to the proper techniques and receiving the correct materials.
“If they’re compacting that dirt (on-site), this resident observer will be there to make sure the moisture is right and it’s getting compacted right,” Lester said.
Lester said a resident observer hasn’t been hired for recent projects, but a variety of problems prompted the board to choose a different route this time.
Since she’s been on the board, she said they’ve encountered many problems, “little, big, old and young,” with buildings and construction.
“We’re kind of up to here with it and willing to spend this amount of money to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” she said.
She said this new measure could result in savings down the road and help defray the cost of the resident observer.
“We also feel like that down the road, a new building doesn’t tell you anything your first few years,” she said. “But hopefully down the road, somebody won’t look back and say, ‘Why are those doors sagging and why is this and why is that and why something else?’”
Lester added that hiring someone local also has the benefit of someone being nearby.
The board members voted unanimously in favor of M&J. All members were in attendance. The next regular scheduled meeting is July 16 at 7 p.m. at the board of education.