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NEW EAGLE – Several Ringgold School Board members lashed out at the district’s architectural firm for forgetting to inform them about a $22,591 change order for the baseball field renovation project.

During the board’s meeting Wednesday, a representative from HHSDR Architects and Engineers apologized to the board for leaving out the change order in a bid package he submitted last July.

Although board members had agreed to move forward with installation of the electrical conduits at the baseball field, they were unaware of the additional costs when they reviewed the specs two months ago. Now, the district will have to pay an extra fee above the original $591,650 cost.

“The long and short of it was, it was omitted,” said John Carly, HHSDR engineer. “’I did the drawings, and it did not print out with the drawings. No one caught it during the bid phase, and when the detailed cost breakdown came in, I noticed it didn’t have a line item and then the contractor realized it wasn’t in the bid. I apologize to the board for the omissions. It was not intentional.”

While Carly offered to waive nearly $3,000 for design fees, the board demanded that HHSDR pick up the tab for extra costs.

“I’m not sure waiving your fee is enough,” said board member Maureen Ott.

Initially, the board voted 5-4 against accepting the change order and paying the extra costs. But after board members Carol Flament and Bill Stein warned that putting off installation of the conduits could eventually increase costs for lighting, the board voted a second time to approve the change order. This will cover expenses for installation of new empty conduits for future light poles and relocation of existing conduits.

Dodd feels that the district should consider looking for a new architect.

“I’ve been beating this drum for a long time,” he said. “It’s like money is no object to you. That really burns me up when I see something like this. We should be getting a lot more for what we are paying.”

According to business manager Randy Skrinjorich, Ringgold’s contract with HHSDR covers an additional project. The firm has done work for the district for the past 10 years.

Board member Larry Mauro made a motion directing solicitor Tim Berggren to draft a letter to HHSDR, which would ask the firm to take financial responsibility for the change order.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved the police department compensation plan, effective Sept. 19;
  • Granted permission for the superintendent to sign a letter of agreement for Student Assistance Program services between Ringgold and the Washington County Drug and Alcohol Commission for the 2019-20 school year;
  • Appointed Victoria Cotter as girls soccer assistant varsity coach.
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