Board Not Thrilled With Cameron School Work

The Cameron High School project is on schedule for its Dec. 18 substantial completion date, officials said Tuesday, but members of the Marshall County Board of Education expressed displeasure with the quality of work at the site.

During a regular meeting of the board, members received updates from Project and Construction Services, the manager for the project. Ron Blatt, representing PCS, said crews have been sticking to a new schedule, working on the flooring and preparing and sealing other areas of the building.

The original completion date for the project was set for October 2011.

Blatt said any task that may have fallen behind has not caused the overall project to lag, and progress is being made on other tasks ahead of a newly created schedule. Additionally, the HVAC system is expected to be completed by the end of August, a critical piece in getting the building open on time, Blatt said.

A final checklist is being completed as crews finish an area, and any remaining items that need to be checked after students enter the school will be done after class, Blatt said.

“There has been a lot of work completed in the last two months,” he said.

However, board member Lori Kestner voiced concern over the quality of work, showing photos of the outside of the building to Blatt and other officials that were taken during a tour she had over the weekend.

The photos showed cracked pavement and asphalt, spaces on handrails and drains that do not appear to be working correctly.

“The pictures speak for themselves,” Kestner said. “If you did work like that at my house, I’d fire you on the spot.”

Kestner said she did not expect PCS to answer all the questions she had, but said it would be poor judgment for her to not address the noticeable issues.

“I don’t want to see us making timelines and see shoddy work,” she said.

John Miller, who was receiving his first official update on the project as a board member, said accountability needs to be stressed as the project nears completion.

“The public has a right to hold us accountable, and we have a right to hold you accountable,” he said.

Blatt said a majority of the issues Kestner brought up had been addressed, and others would be taken care of as work concludes. When asked by the board if he had any concerns over where work on the building stands, he said he had expected masonry work to be completed earlier this month. However, that work will not be finished for at least three weeks.

“It should have been done by now, but it will get there,” he said. “I wish we weren’t here in this situation, and I’m not satisfied overall, but progress is being made.”

The board held an executive session to discuss personnel.

The board also met behind closed doors for 30 minutes to discuss a financial and legal matter associated with the project. Following the session, a board meeting was set for 7:30 p.m. Monday at the board office. An agenda for that meeting will be released later this week.