RH board member questions need for change orders

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 20, 2003

PEDRO - How to spend money - and why - was the focus of discussion at Tuesday night's Rock Hill Board of Education meeting.

One board member questioned change orders and the need for a new surface at the football field. The board also voted to commend the district's volleyball teams on a job well done.

Board member Wanda Jenkins questioned four change orders totaling $148,185.35. The change orders to RWS Construction were for work done at the Rock Hill Middle School cafeteria and work done at the football field.

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"We put this out for bid and now they come back asking for more," Jenkins said. "Two or three thousand dollars I can see, but $148,000? This bothers me."

"This is for work done beyond the bid specifications," Superintendent Lloyd Evans said. "As for the middle school cafeteria, they started the renovation work and when they got in, they discovered there was more work to be done than what they thought. This is for work done beyond the bid spec."

Evans said later that when workers began work at the cafeteria, they discovered they would have to dig up the entire floor, and that all the plumbing had rotted out.

Jenkins suggested that Evans have contractors attend board meeting and explain why the need for the change orders before the board votes on the matter.

Evans emphasized later that the bulk of the money for the change orders comes out of school construction monies, not district coffers. He also said change orders were to be expected in a project this large.

The board voted 3-2 to accept the change orders, with Jenkins and board member Carl Large voting against, and board members Jackie Harris, Troy Hardy and Rich Donohoe voting in favor.

The board was also split 3-2 on the issue of hiring Jack Walters and Associates to renovate the football stadium. The renovations include replacing the grass with a synthetic turf surface such as field turf. The board also voted 3-2 to advertise for bids for the material to resurface the field.

"I want to give our kids everything we can give them, but right now we are in academic watch, and academics has to be our priority," Jenkins said in voting against the two resolutions.

The school board voted unanimously to congratulate the seventh, eighth and senior volleyball teams on their outstanding seasons.

All three teams had went undefeated this season. The seventh and eight graders were OVC tournament champions.

In asking for the resolution, Large said he was proud of the volleyball teams and their accomplishments. "They need to be recognized," Large said.