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MISSION—The Mission Consolidated Independent School District Facilities Committee met on April 3, to discuss the status of projects under the 2008 Bond Program. In August 2011, ERO Architects was approved to design the roofing repairs for six projects under the program.
The six roofing projects include repairs for Bryan and Salinas Elementary Schools, a re-roof overlay for K. White Jr. High, Waitz Elementary, and R. Cantu Junior High School; and a complete re-roof for Roosevelt Alternative School and Options Academy.
ERO Project Manager David Iglesias said the company had submitted a request for an additional $18,500 for a roofing project at one campus. He said the funds would be taken out of a contingency fund, if approved.
“At Salinas Elementary, we went out on site and identified the major areas of concern that needed immediate attention because of leaks,” Iglesias said. “We met with staff, administration and teachers.”
The budget for the project is $50,000; a contingency fund of $25,000 has been set for the project as well, according to Iglesias. The project manager said he decided to ask the contractor what the cost would be for added preventative work on remaining parts that were not included in the original scope of work.
“I knew there was contingency fund available, I just wanted to see what the cost would be to go ahead and take care of the remaining perimeter of work that wasn’t originally called for,” Iglesias said. “Are these problem areas? Are they leaking now? No. Does it have to be done now? No,” he said.
Board President Dr. Sonia M. Treviño said budget business is up to the board, not the architect.
“Your job is to give us the initial feasibility study that would tell us ahead of time of what we are going to be faced with,” Treviño said. “Of course we want to proceed, because then we are looking at future leaks. To me, going into a contingency fund is for something that is unforeseen, or that came up later.”
Iglesias said the initial assessment that was issued had different categories for possible work on the project, but added no direction was given by the district to proceed with additional changes.
“The budget that we had for this project was over $600,000. When you all did your assessment, you all established the budget of $50,000, not us,” Executive Director of Maintenance, Facilities and Construction Ricardo Rivera said. “I spoke with (Eli) Ochoa (ERO President/ CEO). His call was he made the decision to look out after our budget. He took it upon himself to look after the budget and not include any additional work.”
The initial assessment by ERO Architects was made in 2010-2011; Board member Raymond Longoria said he wondered why plans were not put into motion until years later, after hailstorm damage in 2012.
“The hail storm damaged a lot of roofs, then we come back at the end and blame others,” Longoria said. “We wait that long and things happen.”
Board member Patty Bazaldua explained the point was not when the damage was made, but why were the specifications for alternate work not included during the bidding process.
Iglesias explained after examining the roof during spring break, they noticed the extra work. He said the extra repairs did not need to be completed immediately; it was only an option for the district.
Manuel Hinojosa, with ERO Architects, said the assessment was done three years ago, things change and the goal was to take immediate action on leaks. He added, they did not have to bring up the preventative maintenance, they were only thinking of the best interest of the school district.
“I hear from Iglesias it was in the plan, and it was recommended three years ago. Then I hear things change in three years, which one is it,” Rivera said. “ I received the correspondence by David on Monday, I was extremely upset and David knows that. We expressed our displeasure, however it does need to be done.”
Board member James E. Olivarez said if it was an error of omission on the architect’s part, the district would still have to pay.
“The project has to go forward, the project has to be finished,” Olivarez said. “Legally, we are responsible – we have to pay for it. As far as the blame. It is an omission. We are all human.”
Since this was only a committee meeting, no action could be taken on the matter. The full board made a final decision and approved the agenda item regarding the roofing project at the regular board meeting held on April 10.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.