Board OKs Canceling Logan's Construction Management Contract

By Quinn, Ryan | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), September 26, 2017 | Go to article overview

Board OKs Canceling Logan's Construction Management Contract


Quinn, Ryan, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


By Ryan Quinn Staff writer

The state School Building Authority's board approved Monday removing PCS from its role as the construction management firm assigned to Logan County's Chapmanville elementary school building project.

The voice vote, with Tom Lange the only SBA board member heard voting no, comes after legislative interim meetings and SBA committee review meetings concerning the SBA's relatively new construction management process.

In the past couple of years, the SBA has increased the role of construction management firms and assigned two such companies, Ohio- and West Virginia-based PCS and Virginia-based MBP, to school building projects around the state.

Still pending is a request from the Monroe County Board of Education for the SBA board to remove MBP from its proposed new Peterstown school project. Joetta Basile, public schools superintendent for Monroe, has said she doesn't want a construction manager in order to lower the amount of money the school system is going to request of voters in a school bond election, in which residents will vote on approving raising property taxes to provide local dollars to match requested SBA grant money.

SBA Finance Director Garry Stewart, however, noted that the bond hasn't yet passed when asked Monday why Monroe wasn't on Monday's SBA board meeting agenda.

Also, Harrison County public schools Superintendent Mark Manchin said Monday that his school system currently is renegotiating its contract with MBP to hopefully drop Harrison's remaining money owed to MBP from $680,000 to $180,000. He said $318,000 has been paid to MBP so far.

Manchin said that in exchange for the cost reduction, MBP would tentatively provide only "clerk of the works and some other services on the new Johnson Elementary project in Bridgeport.

"The scope will be dramatically reduced, it's safe to say, said Manchin, who was the SBA's executive director for seven years. "The responsibility will be dramatically reduced, the interaction with the general contractor will be dramatically reduced, they'll act more as an adviser.

He said the Johnson Elementary project doesn't need a construction manager, saying they're for larger, more complex projects. Scott Raines, the SBA's director of school planning and construction, said he'd take to the SBA board for a vote any proposal to switch the Johnson Elementary project from using a construction manager to using a clerk of the works.

Logan's school board also asked to have a clerk of the works instead of a construction manager. Current SBA Executive Director Frank "Bucky Blackwell said the SBA will get Logan's input on assigning a clerk of the works.

When asked by the Gazette-Mail whether he'd be open to keeping PCS on in a clerk of the works capacity, Logan board President Paul Hardesty said, "Absolutely not, under no pretense, our relationship has deteriorated that quickly. They don't work for our school system, they work for SBA staff.

PCS officials didn't respond to requests for comment Monday.

The Logan board voted to request the cancellation in June, but later considered settling for a drop in PCS' $954,000 fee. …

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