Change orders at SF Intermediate School exceed $47,000

Published Mar 28, 2013 at 10:00 am (Updated Mar 28, 2013 at 10:00 am)

Change orders for South Fayette’s new Intermediate School building of more than $47,000 were approved by school directors at the board’s voting meeting March 26. The largest change order was to remediate soft spots on the ground surrounding the new building, which amounted to more than $38,000.

Joe Brennan of P.J. Dick explained that the soft spots, the largest of which is located near the bus road for the new building, needed to be fixed due to unsuitable soil. He said the cost is about $22 per square yard, or $38,654, to fix the spots. The other spots are located near the road where the construction trailers are currently housed, which is off of the now-closed former Lieutenant Will Way Road, and also in the loop in front of the building.

In order for Massaro, the district’s general contractor, to fix the spots, Brennan said the spots had to be over-excavated by about one foot and the spots built back up with a layer of stone, a layer of geo-textile and then a suitable soil material on top.

School board member Alan Vezzi said the areas of the soft spots were “not a surprise to me.” Vezzi, who was formerly the district’s director of maintenance, said that the area was used as a fill area for when the high school was built more than 10 years ago.

Vezzi said at the time the high school was built, there were no plans to add another building to campus. “Prior to the construction of the high school, there were depressions there,” Vezzi said after the meeting about the areas of the soft spots. “The material was kind of pushed there.”

Other change orders approved by the board included modifying a door opening in the amount of $1,367, adding a rain leader to the west canopy in the amount of $3,327 and adding walls to conceal bracing in classrooms in the amount of $2,996.

Board Vice President Teresa Burroughs pointed out that those three specific change orders seemed to be “missed” by the architect, Eckles, and that the board should not have to pay a design fee for those changes.

“I don’t feel like I should have to pay for their mistake,” Burroughs said. “We need to make sure there are no architecture fees on the omissions.” Board President William Newcomer agreed, stating that he wanted to make sure the district did not have to pay any architecture fees on the three items.

The board voted on the change orders with the provision that no architecture fees be added to the three items.

Superintendent Dr. Bille Rondinelli said she would be contacting Eckles to make sure there are no design fees on the omissions.

In other business, the board voted in favor of conducting an Extended School Year pilot program for five weeks this summer. The program, which would benefit students with special needs or who need special services, would net the district a cost savings of about $9,500.

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