Plano Star-courier > News
Construction-related items to be individually considered at board meetings
Plano ISD will make some changes to the way its board approves construction projects, it was decided at Tuesday's school board meeting.
Actionable items related to major capital projects -- including approval of bid awards and the setting of a maximum price for such projects -- will now be presented to the board for individual consideration.
The current practice is to place construction-related items on the consent agenda. Several other area districts, including Allen, McKinney and Frisco, already present bid awards, pricing and construction documents individually to board members.
The new protocol was recommended after Place 5 Trustee David Stolle asked that two such items -- the approval of the construction manager at risk for the renovations at Brinker and Daffon elementary schools -- be pulled from the consent agenda for further consideration.
"What we're approving tonight is merely the initial step of the process," he said. "However, it's a process that we estimate is going to be two $10 million construction projects. ... I'd like to have a discussion as to how we're spending our money, what we're spending it on and what we're approving so that someone doesn't come to a board meeting and say 'I'm completely surprised. I can't believe what you're doing and I don't understand what it is,' because we've discussed it throughout the process."
Stolle is referring to John Donovan, a Plano ISD parent who asked the board at its September meeting why the square footage in the expansion at Plano West High School seems to have increased since the initial proposal. An award for a construction manager at-risk contract and guaranteed maximum price for that project were on the consent agenda at that meeting, but no public presentation was made to explain the apparent changes.
Many bond-approved projects take several years to reach completion, and during that time designs can deviate slightly from initial proposals, said Superintendent Richard Matkin.
"Let's bring back every project that is a large construction/renovation project," he said. "Let's put it on the open agenda where we can talk to you about scope and we can talk to you about square footage. We can talk to you about some changes and maybe how things have developed, whether it's growth in that particular area or the changes in pricing from subcontractors and all that, where you feel very comfortable."
The renovations at Brinker and Daffron were approved with the district's 2008 bond package, which approved $490 million for new campuses, several building renovations and expansions, and technology and capital improvements.
The estimated cost of the Daffron renovation is $10.2 million, while Brinker is budgeted at $10.6 million. Cadence McShane was awarded both contracts at 90 percent of construction cost for each project.
Matkin said the projects brought to the board for individual consideration will likely be the more major undertakings of the district.
"If we want to put a drive in, I don't know if you want to see a picture of what that might look like, but if we could use some judgment on our part ... we'll show up with plans and drawings and those other things that can wow the audience as we go through our expenditures, our capital program," he said.
No construction documents, site plans or descriptions of the work were included in the public agenda packet posted on Plano ISD's website.